Moving on – to Palm Desert, CA

1/10/17 in Palm Desert, CA (Palm Springs-TT)

Two days after we’d arrived at Pilot Knob we went to our dentist in Algodones, Mexico. This time the remodeling was completed. Everything looked very nice, with a lovely reception/waiting area out front. The 4 dentists had their own areas, separated by partial walls. We got our Xrays (digital-less Xrays and immediately visible in the computer in front of you) and teeth cleaned with ultrasonic sound waves (screechy, but faster than the pic). That cost $35 for each of us. Then I had a filling that was coming out. My dentist in Spokane and noted it. So my dentist in Mexico took care of it for $65. I’m amazed at their technology and efficiency!

We visited the “Peanut Patch” where they have a low key tour, explaining peanuts and their origins. Spanish peanuts are used for candy like peanut brittle and Snickers, Runner peanuts are mostly used in peanut butter and Virginia peanuts are the bigger, better nuts, so often sold as peanuts. This place used to grow their own but after a white fly infestation, it just wasn’t economically feasible, so they get their raw peanuts from TX, OK and AL, then process them. We got free samples of peanuts roasted in the shell, out of the shell, fresh made peanut butter, peanut brittle and even their fudge. Yum!! We got a bit carried away buying their goodies, but peanuts are SO healthy!

One day I played desert (on hard packed sand instead of grass) Bocce Ball, while John preferred to watch. I had a great time (fun people) and even did pretty well. I’m ready for my next Bocce Ball opportunity!

On travel day, as we were getting lined up to hook up our car, a lady walking by noted that we had our antennas up. I said he always wants it up until the last moment. She said they all do! John had said the local antenna was down, but I informed him that it was up as well, so they both got put down. We left by 7:30 California time. Road work on I-8W put us on a detour, using a frontage road for about 10 miles, with a few mile break and then another 10 mile detour of 2 lane road Never a dull moment. Our path to Palm Desert was I-8W to SR 111 (exit 118B), then we veered left of the Salton Sea (SR78, SR 86) to merge onto I-10W. SR 111 was sprinkled with plenty of stop lights but SR 86 was a nice 4 lane road without those pesky stop lights. Lots of desert views, without the saguaro cacti, although there were also the greens of the Imperial Valley grown along the way as well. We arrived by 10:30-3 hrs.

Palm Springs campground was packed! We finally found a good site, although it was iffy at first as to whether our DISH on the rooftop would be able to connect with their satellites in the sky. After moving the rig a foot or so, we got it to work!! We didn’t need to scout the place, so I took a nap while John went to visit with friends Bill and Susan, but Susan was gone to water aerobics. After he returned another couple we really like stopped by: Jack and Jackie. We visited, then walked and visited until it was time to get our suppers. We all wanted to go to the Karaoke sing at 7. Jack likes to do it and said he’d let me sing with him. I did (Sixteen Candles), but I didn’t know that song as well as I’d thought. He said he has a karaoke machine he uses to practice and he’d let me use his. So THAT’S how they get good before taking the mic before a crowd. There were some excellent singers there, so we had a wonderful time.

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Moving on – to Winterhaven, CA

1/1/17 in Winterhaven, CA (Pilot Knob-ROD)

Because rain was predicted for today, we’d put our slides in (except the closet which would come over my part of our bed) and jacks up yesterday. Thank heavens, because it was pouring when we were ready to get going. Naturally, the rain largely stopped as we neared the Resort exit.

Our next good news, the gas station at Fry’s (where we needed to get fuel) was open, thus we could also hook up our toad/towed car. Yay! On our way by 8 too. It rained periodically on our trip, with headwinds, but not like Florida rain and we didn’t run into any flood waters thank heavens.

deser

Because I’ve changed to a Windows 10 computer the GPS that worked with our Microsoft Streets and Trips program was incapable of communicating with my computer, so I’m using a phone app: Maps.me. Having loaded the various state maps on to this program, it runs a GPS on those maps, thus I’m not using data/WiFi/Cell phone service. It’s very comforting for me. We also learned a nice trick to help us go the route WE chose. We list the turns we want to take on a sheet of paper at the dashboard, so both of us can see it. For example, on this trip our list reads thusly:

R>US60W

LL>I-10E

RR>SR347 (Exit 164)

R>SR84

R>I-8W

RA (Rest Area) MM85

RA MM22

R>Sidewinder Rd (Exit 164)

L>Sidewinder Rd

R>Frontage Rd (Pilot Knob RV)

In time I may wean myself off MSST. We’ll see. I really like these new aids.

We arrived right at noon. We were here last year for the same reason, to see our Mexican dentist. Hopefully we won’t have the number of cavities that we had last time!

This campground is okay for a desert place. They have a nice pool and small hot tub, with a variety of activities and very friendly campers. There are level sites on sand with concrete pads and generally a tree for each site. You do need to pay an extra $5/day if you choose a 50 amp site over 30 amps. No WiFi but Verizon is good and TV satellite has lots of sky. Right off I-8 but the sound hasn’t bothered us. It does tend to be windier than other places north of here. We got to choose which available site we wanted-#160. We love that it’s really close to our exit to Algodones, Mexico, where our dentist is. We’ll be here until Jan 10th, so let us know if you happen to be around when we are.

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FINAL WEEKS AT VAL VISTA VILLAGE, Willow Spring Hike

12/19/16 – 12/30/16 in Mesa, AZ (Val Vista Villages)

Our days have continued, enjoying the activities that Val Vista has to offer. Besides the exercise classes/treadmill and walking, the line dance classes and hot tub time, we received fresh-off-the trees ripe pink grapefruit from Nancy/Gary, who have a tree on their lot. So delicious, a yummy addition to my breakfast routine.

With help from Gary, the Computer Club and time I feel very comfortable with my new computer now. The only thing left is getting the “My Passport” external hard drive backup program to work. Meanwhile, I’ve used other ways to get my programs and files to the new computer, so I can continue these manual methods until I get home to Justin.

John bought a special tank cleaning hose and applied it to our black, even (sort of) to the gray tank, to knock off the crud and hard water deposits in those tanks that disturb our sensors.

On December 20th we joined the hiking club for a trip on the Willow Springs hike, near the Superstition Mountains. We met at a large parking lot in Val Vista at 7:45 am. There we all got the directions to our starting point and figured out who was carpooling and who was driving. John drove with 3 passengers in the back. It was a tight squeeze, but we had a good visit on the way. It was a cold, windy morning, but we were comfortable by the end of our hike. They had someone at the front and the end, so no one got lost. We were warned about the prickly defenses of most desert plants. Joe (our leader) said to be sure to tell him if we had any encounters because he had the forceps to handle it. Sure enough, one person, trying to get down a big drop put her hand on a dry buckhorn cactus stem. Joe whipped out his forceps and pulled it off before he reached 1..2..3. Then he put some antiseptic hand cleaner on her “good” hand, telling her to rub it onto both her hands.  Beautiful country with great challenges getting over and through certain large boulders. I was grateful someone had suggested I bring my hiking stick, for the loose rocks along the trail. We stopped several times for water breaks and once for snacks. Our hike took about 2 hours (3.5 miles). Perfect pace and wonderful help when we needed it!

After the hike I cut John’s hair, just to complete our lovely day.

Christmas Eve was really special this year. Our parish, St. Bridget’s, had a Jazz Mass at 10pm. Not only that, they had an hour of Jazz before. We both truly enjoyed listening as well as singing along. Different, singing Christmas songs to a Jazz beat. We haven’t been up until midnight for ages, but we managed to participate in that unique Mass until time to go home.

Christmas is hard when you’re away from family. It helps to have our RV family, in this case Nancy and Gary, joining us at the Christmas potluck. We brought deviled eggs, brownies and pumpkin pie. Nancy/Gary brought scalloped potatoes and green beans that went perfectly with our ham, pineapple and rolls that the hosts brought. Another couple brought a tasty spinach salad. We played “Fast Track” with Nancy and Gary for the afternoon. Best of all, we were able to visit with our children and grandchildren in the evening.

A cold bug is trying to get the best of me, but I’m putting up a good fight. Thus I haven’t done much exercising (John seems to be following my example even though the cold has not reached him). We did work at cutting out sections of sunscreen material to eventually fit with our suction cups and attach on the outside of our windows on very hot days.

Rain is predicted for our travel day, Sunday. Bummer. It will be what it will be.

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8th through 10th WEEKS IN A NUTSHELL Tempe Art Festival, Superstition Mountain Museum, Goldfield Ghost Town/Mine, Boyce Thompson Arboretum St Pk

12/1/16 – 12/18/16 in Mesa, AZ (Val Vista Villages)

I got ambitious and cleaned our windows and screens on a beautiful warm sunny day. I’ve still been working at getting my new computer operating to my satisfaction, even getting help at the Windows 10 meetings on Wednesdays. I’ve appeared in public because of a couple groups I belong to: Line Dancing and the Christmas Choir. Below is not the greatest image, but it was getting dark.  I’m on the right, near the end.  Our red noses were blinking while we danced to Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer in the Christmas Parade.

trish

Before that parade, Nancy and Gary invited us to join them at the Tempe Art Festival, although John preferred to stay home. We rode the Valley Metro Rail. What a deal. It’s a light rail that only costs $2 a day for seniors, running from near Val Vista Villages to downtown Phoenix. Of course we got off at Tempe for the Festival which was right next to our stop. Here are some highlights from that fun time.

About a week later, on Saturday, John and I visited a lady we met when we all were just starting out in the RV life. Last year she bought a park model in a place similar to where we’re staying.  Hers is in Apache Junction which is near Mesa. Se we got to see her lovely new home (she’s sold her RV) which she absolutely loves, along with lots of fun activities and friends to enjoy them with. Then we all took off for Superstition Mountain Museum. The actual museum was pretty small so we skipped it, but we did enjoy the outside exhibits which included a chapel that had been in a lot of films and a working train exhibit showing different times in history. The entrance marker was made with hand hewn stones which once made up the facade of Roosevelt Dam. The heaviest are 2 tons. Because it was the Christmas season they also had an arts and crafts show on the grounds. The most fascinating one for me was the Thunder Gourds. When you grab the gourd by its neck and shake it some, it makes the coolest deep sound.

superstition-2

Then we went to the nearby Goldfield Ghost Town/Mine. You can see the Superstition Mountains behind their entrance sign. Fun ghost town but most of the buildings were businesses catering to us tourists. Since we been in some mines we didn’t do this one. They did have a gunfight in the center of town. Shortly after watching it John noticed someone had left 2 $10 bills where he’d been sitting. We all tried to find the man, but he’d just seemed to have disappeared by the time we were looking.

On Sunday John and I joined our friends Kathy/Jim, who are staying in Casa Grande, at the Boyce Thompson Arboretum. What a beautiful place, with plenty of trails meandering among so many desert plants (even some trees). We loved Ayer Lake as well as the “Picket House”. The latter was opened up specially for a fund raising event. It needs a lot of renovating, thus money. The Colonel (not actually military) William Boyce (mother’s name) Thompson (father’s name), who created this arboretum began his presence here with this “little” winter home with a beautiful view. He started building it when he was 60 and unfortunately died a few years later. It was in his desire to plant some trees near his home that was the beginning of a magnificent effort to plant desert plants all around. The house was sold to a family that tried to make money as a bed and breakfast but it was a struggle so they sold it to the State.

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5th through 7th WEEKS IN A NUTSHELL

Animals Galore

11/12/16 (Saturday) in Mesa, AZ (Val Vista Villages)

This was a glorious morning: while walking to the restrooms I saw birds all lined up on the roof ridge of those buildings, then turned to see a gray fox. It was just as interested in me, but as soon as I moved it clambered partly up the block wall near it, clambered down, then ran to the wall’s far end and climbed to the top of that wall, to continue watching me. Then on my way back to our RV I noticed a cactus wren on a light post scolding me. He followed me to the palm tree we’re parked next to, continuing his scolding. Fun to watch. Unfortunately, neither animal was wanting their picture taken at the time.

After I worked on the blog, we went back to Lost Dutchman SP for a talk on rescued critters. They were unique raptors rarely seen in this area:  Swainson’s Hawk, Eagle Hawk (it nests and hunts on the ground) and lastly the gorgeous Peruvian Falcon.

raptors-2raptors-1raptors-3

Because we were there, we took a nice 2 mile hike into the Green Boulder in the Superstitions, then on to home.  The first shows the boundary on our trail between Lost Dutchman SP and the Tonto National Forest with the Superstition Mountains.  The next shows the “Green Boulder” we hiked to.

Many Weeks Spent Purchasing and Setting Up New Computer For Trish

(The rest of November starting Sunday) in Mesa, AZ (Val Vista Villages)

I’m just sharing our experiences in general because you’d get pretty bored reading about the same things. Starting this Sunday we began researching what computer would be best to replace Trish’s Dell that apparently was suffering from some hard drive corruption. We decided on an Asus (best repair records and reviews) and bought it online from Best Buy (Geek Squad for technical help). On Tuesday I asked Gary (RVer) if he’d consider assisting me in getting Photoshop Elements installed in my new computer. Because the new one would have half the storage space as the Dell. With a Solid State Drive-SSD it would have cost twice as much to get more storage space. He did a phenomenal job figuring how to transfer this program for me. It was especially difficult because of the many changes: Windows 7 to 10, old Photoshop Elements (PSE) 5 to new PSE 15. Hardest of all, from everything happening on the built in hard drive, to setting the data onto an external hard drive. Unfortunately, since we’re not experts, it took almost every afternoon of effort to arrive at Victory Day on November 30th. I also spent my spare time trying to get other programs working on my new computer. Meanwhile our spouses managed on their own. On the whole we kept our mornings free, so I could go to my exercise classes (Core/Balance, Yoga, Functional Fitness and Line Dancing) and accomplish ordinary household tasks.

We took some breaks on the weekends, visiting Kathy/Jim at Casa Grande, then they visited us the next day at Val Vista. The living situations are similar, with lots of activities and mixed park models and RVs set near one another. The weather had cooled so I made lasagna and pumpkin cookies during this time. Besides enjoying a native celebration at Casa Grande Ruins, we had fun buying cheap produce at Food City.

Thanksgiving Day was a special treat. We shared our potluck foods with a table of 11 that included Nancy and Gary. We really lucked out in that our host has a son who is a chef. With his son’s help he cooked the most wonderfully moist, flavorful turkey I’ve ever experienced. Mmm Mmm good.

John’s been playing golf with the same guys, at the same golf course on Fridays. The day after Thanksgiving he and I relished time in the Fiesta hot tub.

John had some challenges himself during this time: On a Thursday he replaced the support boards that were above the engine and under the bed. Dear Freightliner had not completed their responsibilities putting everything back after the coolant repair. About a week later, he discovered water leaking at the slide near his bed. He traced it to our hot water tank. After checking the situation out he called a plumber who spent most of an afternoon repairing things. On the left is our hot water tank and plumbing.  The nasty guy that was leaking (it needed to be replaced) is on the right.

Even in that case, when we ran our laundry a few days later I discovered that the water was very hot instead of warm. Eventually John found the problem. A couple hoses that fed water to the washing machine on the faucets had been switched. On another week (John was gone golfing) I and Gary, while working on my computer issues when we heard gurgling in the sinks. Couldn’t figure it out, thought it was related to the recent plumbing repair. After Gary left, as I was walking further in Miss Journey I stepped into water. Lots. I had doing our wash and our gray tank was overflowing. I dashed a text to John, not sure it I could find the right valve to release, but I did. Thank heavens because he never saw my message until he’d returned!

Since our life is now following a pleasant routine, I’ll just share when we do something special from now on.

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4th WEEK IN A NUTSHELL

Gorgeous Day

11/5/16 (Saturday) in Mesa, AZ (Val Vista Villages)

Finally, the temperatures will be in the 80’s instead of the 90’s. Woohoo! So what do I do on this glorious morning? I spent it working on this blog writing. I think John watched TV. He’s not swimming because he’s thinking a recent rash he’s developed may have come from that activity.

For lunch I had fun making a dish from frozen chicken, mushroom soup and mushrooms in our Instant Pot. It turned out well and will last for several days. I love not having to plan a meal for a while.

Our adventure today was shopping for groceries. We also went to Costco where I got the Adobe Photoshop Elements 15 software. It was on sale & will work with a new computer if I buy one.

Then we relaxed (nap for me, reading and TV for both). We really enjoyed the movie “This Boy’s Life” that John had taped previously. Unfortunately, the tape ended before the story did! Sheesh.

Visiting Our Neighbors

11/6/16 (Sunday)

Before church we cooked up a big batch of pancakes. Then we freeze them in packets of 4 for use on the following Sundays. Making them is such a big production (need to use such a big pan), that we like to get it done in one effort. Leftover shredded chicken in mushroom sauce was our dinner. I worked on reviewing our finances/bills, then we visited with our Canadian neighbors Cyndy and Jim. Lovely way to spend a day. Just before bed, I started to get symptoms of a UTI. Crud.

UTI Strikes

11/7/16 (Monday)

Sure enough, I barely slept throughout the night, needing to go to the bathroom often. It got worse in the morning, so I skipped Core/Balance class and called Group Health. The Doctor called in my prescription to Walmart where I got my pills. Whew! SO glad to get those pills. Now I’m gulping down water like crazy. Since I didn’t feel like doing much we spent our day reviewing our trip heading north for the summer. Funny thing, today I noticed that the left pocket on my shorts (that I’ve been wearing for a few months now) had been mostly sewn up. I just thought I didn’t have a pocket on that side. So I got to be a seamstress, ripping out the seam, then hand sewing the parts left unsewn from that.

At 3 we enjoyed listening to the Rambling Rose band play, getting to visit with Kathy (from aerobics class), her hubby and met Rod and Jo. They have a 5th wheel and are workcampers. This is just their second year here. They fell in love with the place and applied for jobs for this year before they left last year.

We finished our evening watching DWTS and the Seahawks.

Election Day!

11/8/16 (Tuesday)

I didn’t sleep so well last night. Still not feeling so well so I didn’t do any exercise classes. John and I walked to Val Vista Customer Service to check some things out. Speaking of checking things out, I want to share how the people here prefer bikes to get to their activities (over golf carts). Here they gathered at the Val Vista courtyard to listen to the band that day. They have several tennis and pickleball courts in another place.

I did take my computer to Hank in the afternoon, so he can work on it tomorrow.

After dinner I napped, then read. We watched the election results until bedtime. Things were not looking good for Hillary.

Post Election Day

11/9/16 (Wednesday)

We woke up to the news that Trump is our President Elect. Wow, that was a shock. Personally, his words showed immaturity and a bullying personality. I feel concerned and scared. I sincerely hope he will listen to the more mature voices that may be near him. He has the power he’s wanted, hopefully he’ll understand the responsibility that entails. He also has a Republican Congress to help him along, an entity that seemed to obstruct Obama in everything he tried to do, so he has a great opportunity to affect change. He’s made a lot of promises, so it will be interesting which he’ll be able to keep. Hopefully he’ll consider all the consequences to our American freedoms (especially Freedom of Speech) and American safety (threats of war) from his actions.

I managed to do the Core/Balance class this morning. Then I went to the Computer Club to ask Hank about my computer’s prognosis. First another shock: good and bad news regarding the Computer Club. They will end their “dues” requirement: I get my $20 dues refunded. Unfortunately, to get technical assistance, we will need to pay Hank, or Milt or others specifically for that job. Okay, fair enough. Just glad I wouldn’t have to find someone at someplace near Mesa. Next, Hank said his manual program to get the Windows updates accomplished got 188 updates and then went to a “failure” mode, where it was reverting it all back to where he’d started. That revision was still going on as we waited, then Hank had to leave. Thankfully, it finished okay before noon, so I could take my “sick” computer home. Hank suggested that there must be some corruption on the hard drive and considering this is a 5 year old computer, he’d buy a new one if he was me. So it goes, nothing lasts forever. Guess we’ll be researching and shopping now.

After dinner we shopped for groceries and checked out computers at Best Buy, where there would be some technical assistance when we leave Val Vista. At night we watched our tape of the Country Music Awards, a soothing experience for a rough day.

Lost Dutchman State Park

11/10/16 (Thursday)

I decided not to do the exercise classes today, although I could handle the laundry. I also worked at getting my computer files ready for the big switch. John went to a meeting and got a nice walk in.

After dinner we drove to Lost Dutchman State Park to check out getting to the hike we’ll be taking in the dark tomorrow night. Nice place. We even enjoyed walking the very short Native Plant trail near our parking lot.

ld-1

Chain Fruit Cholla With Superstition Mts 

 

ld-2

Hedgehog

For our evening entertainment we watched TV. I’ve been soaking up several (4 so far) Lee Child books (Jack Reacher) since I got them from the library (onto my Kindle) at the end of October. His books remind me of Sherlock Holmes, Agatha Christi and MacGyver.

Veteran’s Day and Lost Dutchman State Park Moonlight Hike

11/11/16 (Friday)

Special thanks to all our veterans for their service and courage.

I felt well enough to try the Core/Balance and Yoga classes today. There were moments when I felt maybe this wasn’t a good idea, but I got through okay. When they were both done, I felt it was a good idea and as the day progressed I felt much more like my old self. Yay!

I got to relax (well with more laundry and reading about Jack Reacher) while John was gone golfing from 10:30 until 2:30. He had a great time with the same Val Vista guys he went with last Friday.

Since Red Robin was offering a free burger for Veteran’s, we went there for an early (to beat the crowds) supper. Mmmm Mmmm good, a great treat. Since Costco was nearby we stopped to check out their computers. We left just in time to get to the State Park for our 7pm moonlight hike.

Because we’d scouted the route yesterday, we had no problems finding our parking spot. The big surprise is that because it was Veteran’s Day, our car was allowed in for our “day use” hike without their $7 fee! Now the truly full moon won’t happen until November 14th, but it will be at 2am that morning! That’s why we didn’t get to hike with a full moon. Heck but that meant we landed on Veteran’s Day! We had a great time. It’s a 2 mile, easy hike (some rocks scattered along the path) and amazingly visible in the moonlight. In fact, some people’s flashlights created such a bright light that it was hard on my eyes and made darker shadows on the path that fell around that light. Still, it was fun learning about the Lost Dutchman Mine and the Superstition Mountains. The Dutchman (Jacob Waltz) came from “Deutschland”, he was German and he was never lost. He was a mining engineer in Germany before he came to take part in the American gold rush in California, then Arizona. Two of his mines yielded high quality gold. Then the story goes that he found a mine with the finest quality gold ever (some was found under his bed). He never told anyone about it until he’d fallen sick with pneumonia after surviving a flash flood clinging to a mesquite (short) tree for two days. He was “out of his mind”, making many maps, giving clues about this mine before he died. Some of his clues have been found to be true, others not so much. Thus the hope lives that the mine exists in the Superstition Mountains. These, by the way are the tallest point in this area. If any of the 3 dams on the Salt River (where the Phoenix area gets its water) are destroyed (earthquake or attack) than this whole area will go under water, except for the Superstition Mountains. The Apache Indians called them the “Crooked Mountains” and had a story similar to the biblical story of Noah. Guess where the “good people” went. Yes, into the Superstition Mountains. The finale to our hike was some time at a campfire to roast marshmallows – the giant variety. Whoa – that was a LOT of marshmallow but I was thrilled at how well we brought ours to melt in your mouth perfection, even with a very hot fire.

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3rd WEEK IN A NUTSHELL

Pool Time, Morning and Afternoon

10/29/16 (Saturday) in Mesa, AZ (Val Vista Villages)

This time while I worked on the blog, John not only skipped the coffee/donuts opportunity, he swam his laps again!! Yay!! We actually now use an area off the pool that’s shaded for our Internet activities, since it’s close enough to the WiFi to work and it’s a decent temperature in the morning, in the shade. So we finished our morning on the Internet.

For our afternoon we watched the movie “Steve Jobs”. We sure enjoyed it. After supper we swam in the pool and hot tub, getting to meet Mark and Shirley. Mark enticed John into signing up for weekly golf. We finished off our night with our card game “13”.

Cards Morning and Afternoon

10/30/16 (Sunday)

We enjoyed our traditional Sunday pancake breakfast then attended church. We stopped at CVS to see if they had an A1C kit that wouldn’t expire. They didn’t, but they suggested we try a couple nearby CVS stores. Bingo!! We found the kit John needed. Since we were out we decided to go on to the Mesa Marketplace for playing cards, to replace the “13” cards I’d made wet by putting them in a cloth grocery bag where I’d put wet aqua shoes and a water bottle with condensation. They’d dried wrinkly, so we found some “small face” playing cards for cheap-$1/pack. On to Costco since it was near and John needed more maple syrup.

Our lunch was spaghetti with clam sauce, then we walked to the Val Vista Card Room. John wanted to find out how a Sunday group played “65” there. On the way we saw Bill/Jan and invited them to join us for a game in the Poker room. John found out that they have a few different rules for “65” and that each contributes 65 cents at the beginning of the game, hence that name. We had a fun time teaching Bill/Jan how to play “13”. Unfortunately, those “small face” cards were shorter on the long side than normal playing cards and it affected shuffling. Sometimes frugal doesn’t work out so well.

I made a simple fruit salad for my supper: 1 apple cut up and a handful of raisins. I had a couple slices of cheddar cheese for protein. Yum and SO easy on a hot day. We finished our evening with TV shows and our books.

Happy Halloween

10/31/16 (Monday)

A busy morning: Core/Balance class, light housecleaning, then a swim with John in the pool. The rest of the day I spent with my monthly organization of photos and planning our next path to Yuma/Winterhaven. Leftover spaghetti for dinner was still very good, the we just hunkered in Miss Journey with our TV shows and books. There was a Halloween dance that night but we were spoiled – many other nights we could listen to good bands without paying anything so we chose not to go.

Another Hot Day

11/1/16 (Tuesday)

Another busy morning (it’s cool enough): I cut John’s hair, dashed off to Water Aerobics, then returned for Functional Fitness class, while John went swimming his laps. We grocery shopped for our fresh ingredients for tomorrow’s meal: marinated Chili Garlic Sauce (sirachi) chicken and veggies. When we got home I chopped onions, mushrooms and red peppers as well as thawed our chicken breasts. Got them marinating in separate bags. We had our leftover spaghetti, then I got brown rice cooking in our Instant Pot. Again, we spent the rest of our day and night with books and TV. Guess our mornings wear us out, or else that heat is.

Hank Works On My Computer-the Saga Continues

11/2/16 (Wednesday)

Classes again: Core/Balance and Yoga, then off to the Computer Club to see if Hank (the local expert) can fix my computer issues. He tried until lunch time, his time to leave. I’m to bring my computer to him next Wednesday. At least it still works while all these efforts are going on. It also makes me think I may need to buy a new one. People there were saying that 5 years for a Windows computer is a common time for them to “go bad”.

Today John grilled (in the hot sun) our Sirachi Chicken/Veggies. Such a fabulous job-they were cooked to perfection and SO moist. Settled on rice, it all just melted in my mouth, filled with rich flavors.

For an hour in the evening (5-6) we found seats in the Fiesta courtyard to listen to the latest music, this time by a guitar player, Doug Bailey.

After supper, as we were enjoying our books, big wind gusts came up. We’d been leaving our patio and door awnings out constantly for most of these weeks here because there just hasn’t been any wind. Got complacent. This gust was a wake up call, especially with night already on us, so we brought in those awnings and the little headlight covers I put on the headlamps. Later that evening it stormed: thunder, lightening, huge wind and lots of rain. SO grateful we took that hint to pull in those awnings!

Rain

11/3/16 (Thursday)

We didn’t sleep all that well, with the rain and wind noises, not to mention the sound of things hitting other things. I skipped Water Aerobics (there was still intermittent heavy rain and wind), but did do my Functional Fitness class. Having replaced our kitchen table shelving covers with new ones on the table, I also managed to recycle them to a couple shelves in the bedroom.

The rain was a great excuse for a lazy day of laundry, reading and leftover Sirachi Chicken.

For some afternoon exercise we walked to Val Vista to pay our utilities bill, then had a great time visiting with our Canadian neighbors, Cyndy and Jim. We all saw very black clouds headed our way so we parted. Those clouds really let loose, so we were very glad to have collected ourselves into our coach, to watch TV and read.

Leak Above Sink, Then Gorgeous Sunny Day

11/4/16 (Friday)

Well, with that rain came a leak. Dang! Our Miss Journey has been so relatively repair free…. I was getting breakfast ready when I noticed something moving over the sink. Later John saw it too, then saw water. Sure enough the cabinet over our sink was dripping, with water pooled in both of its shelves. John checked the slide – the top was covered with water. Usually the topper (awning) would keep water from collecting there, but this time it was too much, coupled with lots of wind. This is our full wall slide, so it’s too long for John to reach much with a broom/mop. So I sopped up water most of the day at the cabinet.

Life goes on, so I went to my Core/Balance and Yoga classes. John left soon after for 18 holes of golf with the Val Vista group, so I had much of the day to myself. I went to see if the Open Art Studio was happening. Nope, nobody there. Since it was next door to the Computer Club I stepped in to ask some questions. Although I was halted by “Exit Only” signs. I walked all around the building. Then I opened the computer lab door to ask how I get into the Computer Club. He came out to show me – there was a door clearly marked “Computer Club” between the 2 “Exit Only” signed doors. Sheesh! Once in I got talking to a volunteer who shared his experiences with Apple products (very enthusiastic). I may have to make a decision there. He also noted that this week Costco has a sale on Adobe Photoshop Elements, that this may be a good time to update my very old Elements 5.0 version.

My lunch was a cut up orange instead of apple, still delicious and easy.

I’ve been getting lots of Lee Child (Jack Reacher) books from the library (Kindle), so I’m really enjoying them. Started “The Hard Way” a couple days ago.

Since the band was now playing at the Val Vista courtyard and this was a Manager’s Special (beer or wine for 25 cents a drink) I started down early. On the way I saw a gentleman playing his guitar. So beautiful. I commented. Pretty soon we were talking about the Beatles, reading music and the like. He’s Doug Bailey, the man who was playing the last time we enjoyed the music in the courtyard. Just down our road! I continued to Val Vista where I took a photo of the bikes parked here. Now golf carts certainly exist but the preferred vehicle for transit within the park seems to be bikes. All the more proof of how active this group is. I’ll include a photo of some of the daily activities for another clue.

When I arrived it naturally was crowded, all chairs taken, but I figured that and was just going to get my glass of wine, enjoy, then leave. Well, after getting my wine I noticed Jim/Cyndy and they invited me to their table. In a while John found us and joined the gang. Great music, nice wine. John was really tired and hungry though, so we left when I’d finished my wine. We had our normal Fish Friday meal, then relaxed with TV and reading.

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