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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About Patricia Elser

I've always loved the loose, flowing, transparent look of watercolors, of Chinese paintings and their calligraphy, but alas, no watercolor classes were available when I was in school, so that interest remained buried until my children were grown. Even then, I was afraid that I couldn't really paint, so upon my sister's advice, I actually started to take classes. I signed up for every class available, determined to learn no matter how afraid I was. I came upon a teacher, Stan Miller, who inspired me, who opened the door to success in watercolor. I love to look at beautiful images. I want to capture them forever. All my life, photography was how I gathered images of the beauty I saw. Thanks to all that photography, I enjoy composing pictures, especially up close. Watercolors allow me to add more of me in their translation of that beauty. My paintings reflect my love for music and dance, with their rhythm and flow. I am fascinated by the play of light, so it appears in my pictures as drama for they are filled with darks and lights. Maybe it's the challenge, maybe it's the beauty, but now, when a work comes together, it fills my soul.
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