Monday, October 31, 2005

Movin' on down the road

Today was one of those day's you're glad to be alive; the sun was shining, the air was clear and cool, and everything was just perfect.

Since it's barely November the campground hasn't started to fill with the snowbirds, so we obtained a river front site. The picture here is of the expensive homes across the river, including one owned by a retired race car driver whose name escapes me at the moment. I imagine I appreciate my view of nice, expensive homes more than they like their view of our campground! Actually, we rarely see people in these homes at all when we're normally here in January, February or March, so perhaps these are just summer or weekend homes.

We got set up quickly, but the DW Internet satellite wouldn't go through its test so we ran into town for a late lunch at the China Garden and when we returned we were online. It seems the system tested itself while we were gone and passed. We tweaked it anyway to obtain the best possible signal and that was done. While we were in town we hit Beall's Outlet for some new clothes as we've both lost weight and I knew they would still have summer items as what we needed were new shorts. They were having a special discount sale in addition to the Monday "senior" discount so we walked out with a big bag of clothes at a very ridiculous price-yay!

The next couple of days will be spent trying to figure out my newest toy that arrived in today's mail, a Nokia 6102 flip phone. There seem to be all sorts of bells and whistles, but since you have to wait 8 hours after charging the battery to turn it on so that it can activate itself (and that might take an additional 2 hours) I won't be able to play with it until tomorrow morning at the earliest. I love toys, don't you?

The hummingbird feeder is up to see what we can attract. I did see one flying around an oleander bush as we were leaving for town so perhaps we'll end up with a hummer or two feeding here. I'll try to limit the number of hummer pictures this time, unless I get a really striking one.

By the way, here's our new location for the next two weeks.

Time to move on

We're not going far this morning so I'll have the opportunity to do my water aerobics after our morning walk and breakfast. We'll be traveling a whole 50 miles up the road today, which certainly helps save fuel. The local Flying J's diesel was down to $2.71 yesterday so we filled our one empty tank (we have two; a 34 gallon tank and a 50 gallon tank)and thought we were paying a "good" price since our last fill up in Lake Havasu City was at $2.97 a gallon. In February we paid $1.99 a gallon at this same Flying J; sometimes keeping good records just ticks you off.

Some friends will be arriving at the same campground on the 3rd (gosh it's hard to believe it's going to be November already) and I'm looking forward to seeing them. Which gives me an idea of a couple of lists to post later...

Safe travels to all.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Yet another quiz

It appears that traveling hasn't influenced my "dialect". Although we have been accused of sounding Southern by those living in the West. Which is better than being accused of sounding like we're from Cleveland. Shudder.

Your Linguistic Profile:

55% General American English

20% Yankee

15% Upper Midwestern

5% Dixie

5% Midwestern

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Fun football picks

As the men in my family will tell you, I am not into football (as they roll their eyes exclaiming "DUH!"). However, my youngest son has been listing his football picks for the week in his blog and even though I don't catch half (okay, 99%) of the references I do enjoy the humor. Check it out at The Token Liberal

Friday, October 28, 2005

A new taste treat

Knowing that we won't be back in this area for a long time, we stopped at the small Mexican market down the street from the campground to pick up a few pounds of chorizo to freeze. We discovered chorizo at the Pine Restaurant in Williams, AZ a couple of years ago and having tried mass-produced and store-made versions we were very pleased to have found this great source of beef and pork varieties. While there we also tried some Mexican white cheese and ceviche de shrimp. A quick explanation is that it's diced tomatoes, onions, peppers, hot peppers and shrimp "cooked" in lemon juice, which makes the diced shrimp very tender. And it's spicy, which is just what we like. Basically, it's a shrimp salsa that's muy bueno!

Now, to figure out how I want to use that queso blanco...

A update on Tim and Rosie

Some of you might remember my blog entry of August 14th about running into Tim and Rosie outside of Bend, Oregon this summer. I decided to check to see where they are currently and discovered the most recent update is an e-mail from someone on the 24th who spotted them in Porterville, CA. I'm hoping we'll cross paths again if they cut across Arizona en route to Texas as this time I'd like to have the opportunity to offer Tim a hot meal and some carrots and apples for Rosie. Wouldn't Tim have some great stories to tell?

Thursday, October 27, 2005

We try to go geocaching

Denny actually volunteered to take me geocaching yesterday, so I grabbed the GPSr and my backpack full of goodies, pen and ID labels as well as the camera and off we went. The good news is the road was gravel and not sand, the bad news is that it was washboard rough which really rattles our teeth due to the stiff suspension of the truck. Denny wasn't real pleased with that, but sooner or later it's going to sink in for him that these caches are placed for the pleasure of folks with jeeps and ATVs and 4X4s, not folks driving around in monster trucks. It just means we have to hike in a lot farther on foot than most folks.

So we discovered the first cache of four I had plotted, but as I was pulling out the box to see what kind of goodies were inside I heard a beep from the GPSr which made me grimace; low battery. And guess who walked out the door without any spares? Duh. So the rest of the afternoon was aborted due to stupidity.

Oh well, next week is a different town and new possibilities for geocaching. But the roads to the caches won't get any smoother, guaranteed. And Denny will growl and grumble. 'Tis the nature of the beast, don'cha know.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Some early morning silliness

Mr. Brown
Which Dr. Seuss character are you?

brought to you by Quizilla

I'm definitely no computer geek

I fought all day yesterday with the new template here on blogger, trying to make my profile picture fit in the side panel to no avail. I e-mailed the template designer for assistance but it seems that the folks at used her templates without her authorization so she does not provide any tech support for those who download the templates from that site. So I was scanning the comment section of that site to check to see if anyone else had used a similar template when I came across Dean from Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan,Canada. And before you think that's some kind of joke, look at the picture of Denny; he is standing underneath Mac the Moose, the town mascot. Yep, we have indeed visited the town of Moose Jaw, which is near Regina. Hmm, material for another blog entry!

Getting back to the point of this entry, I e-mailed Dean and he made a couple of suggestions about resizing which ended up working after I finally found photo-editing software on my computer that had the capability to resize by pixels. Six different photo programs on the computer and only one does that. Sigh. So the template is set for now, although I guess I better look for a different one since this is now officially a bootleg copy of a template per its designer. That'll teach me to try to be creative. Double sigh. Is it time for some cheese with that whine?

Monday, October 24, 2005

The Blythe Intaglios

Intaglio n. (in TAL yo) a design or figure carved or engraved below the surface.

Our first knowledge of the existence of the Blythe Intaglios came from a list of area attractions at our campground in Ehrenberg, Arizona. We have been to see the pictographs at Seminole Canyon near Del Rio, Texas and the petroglyphs near Laughlin, Nevada, but we had never heard of intaglios. Geologist also refer to them as geoglyphs and they are of three known forms; one, where the design is created by aligning stones together to form a shape; two, where the intaglio is created by scraping rock and soil away to expose lighter soil underneath and three: by tramping into the earth thereby forming an indented impression or form.

The Blythe Intaglios were created by the scraping away of rock and gravel to expose the sandy soil. They were discovered in 1931 by a local pilot, George Palmer, who was flying over the area. The area is now managed by the Bureau of Land Management, which has put up a few small interpretive signs and has fenced the area around the intaglios. According to a couple of web sites, there are three sites and six figures, but in the main area there are two sites and four figures. The third site must be farther back on the trail but we didn't attempt it in our large truck as the main drive in is a very rough dirt and crushed stone road that has become rutted from wash outs.

There are two human figures and two animal figures at the two sites. The first site you arrive at has a human figure and a figure of a mountain lion (some non-Native Americans believe it to be a horse) and a serpent. The human figure is assumed to be a male as there is a phallus on the figure although that is difficult to see from ground level. This figure is 102 feet tall and the arm span is 64.9 feet wide. The arms on this figure have elbows and one leg is slightly bent. Original aerial photographs show a large circular path enclosing the upper half of the body but much of that has been destroyed before the figures were enclosed in a chain link fence.

The mountain lion/horse and serpent are very close to each other, perhaps signifying a battle or some religious meaning. Little is actually known about the age or meaning of these intaglios and local Native American oral history gives only a hint or possible meaning to their creation. The interpretive displays make no mention of what tribes existed locally nor any historical information about Native Americans in the area.

The next site is a single large figure is believed to be a figure of the Creator, according to local Native American oral history. The figure has its arms outstretched and original photographs showed fingers and toes and several lines extending from the head believed to be hair, but over time these were scuffed away. The arm span on the Creator is 91.8 feet wide and the length of the figure is 176 feet. The size of this intaglio in relation to the size of the first human figure is the reason it is assumed to be a figure depicting the “Creator”.

While there's not a lot of information about the site on site there are a couple of web sites that have aerial photographs that show the intaglios much better. I have to admit that we brought along a stepladder to take the photos show below as we had visited the site last year and wanted to try to get better shots than what we could get from ground level. I guess the BLM people figure that if they build viewing platforms someone would use it to climb into the enclosed areas.

A male figure intaglio. This one has an obvious phallus and is encircled by a large path around the upper half of the body.  Posted by Picasa

The mountain lion intaglio. Some people believe this to be the figure of a horse, which would mean it was created after the Spanish explorers brought horses to America. Posted by Picasa

The Serpent intaglio at Blythe, a coiled figure 23 feet long and eight feet wide. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, October 23, 2005

This is an Anna's hummingbird. He is very difficult to photograph as he is a hit-and-run feeder. His color is much more brilliant in the sunshine but he prefers the shady side of the feeder. Posted by Picasa

I have been trying to snap this little Anna's hummer in the sunlight for five days but he prefers the shadier side of the feeder. A bit of sunshine turns his entire head and neck bright magenta. Posted by Picasa

A female Anna's Hummingbird. She didn't get to feed much as the male would chase her off whenever he saw her around. Posted by Picasa

Notice anything different?

I've never been real happy with the original template of this blog, but since I'm self-educated in computer "stuff" I went with what was available. Thanks to Christina (too funny) I discovered another page of templates and decided to attempt the changeover. This was not easy for someone who is basically clueless, folks! The main information switched over seamlessly, but I had to deal with getting the ads to line up in the side column and that was an hour-long struggle of making a change, previewing the page, deleting this code, switching that code (and these choices are all guesses), previewing the page, over and over. Finally got it. Whew.

I think it was worth it, wadda ya think?

Saturday, October 22, 2005

An early morning treat

Yesterday for some reason Denny was up with me at 5:30 and happened to be looking out the living room window shortly after sunrise when he noticed what he thought was a duck floating downstream. He asked me to get the binoculars and see what I thought it was, so imagine my surprise when I discovered the floating creature was not a duck but a river otter! How cool is that?? We spotted him again near the shallows of a side channel of the river during our morning walk and watched as he attempted to catch his breakfast. We were absolutely thrilled to see the otter in a natural habitat instead of penned in a zoo in a concrete pond.

The older I get the more I despise the idea of animals being penned up in small enclosures for the enjoyment of man. And don't even get me started on training killer whales, dolphins and seals to do tricks and shows when these creatures are used to swimming hundreds of miles in their normal habitat. How cruel to enslave other living creatures for our entertainment. Okay, off the soapbox.

Sunset over the Colorado River in Ehrenberg, AZ Posted by Picasa

Riddle answer

Kevin was right; the answer is corn on the cob.

Friday, October 21, 2005

A Riddle

What vegetable do you

"Throw away the Outside, Cook the Inside, Eat the Outside, and Throw Away the Inside?"

Answer tomorrow. Any guesses?

When geocaching goes bad

On our way home from some sightseeing (the subject of a future posting) Denny asked if I wanted to look for a geocache that was nearby. Of course! So we turned off the main drag, located the general area of the cache and due to the sandy nature of the side road I was all set to walk, but Denny decided we'd drive down. I had my doubts but kept quiet. It was fine for most of the way, but was getting a little soft when we finally stopped. Do you know where this is heading?

We traipsed off and located the cache which was on the Colorado River. The cache itself had been "muggled", which means a non-geocacher had discovered it and destroyed the cache, taking the small toys/tradable items that had been inside. The log book for signing your name was off to the side, so I put it back inside its container and shoved it up under a bush so the owner of the cache (the person who originally hid it) can return and replace and/or re-locate the cache for future hunts. We walked back to the truck, got in and that's when the fun began! Long story short, we ended up axle deep in sand, the tow services wouldn't come out as they were afraid of getting stuck themselves, so we were digging out sand with our hands and finding scraps of boards to put under the wheels and trying to get out and not having any success. That's when Denny went up to the paved road and located a contractor at the new housing development being built right next to the road we were stuck on and one of them was kind enough to send over an employee with a back hoe who tied up to the frame of the truck and pulled us out the thirty feet we needed to get back on more hard-packed sand. Whew. They wouldn't allow us to pay them and I don't know the name of the company they worked for, but we were so grateful as otherwise I don't have a clue as to how we would have gotten out of there!

Denny is all for throwing out the GPSr and never going geocaching again but we'll be discussing that!

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Vermillion Flycatcher

 Posted by Picasa

Enjoying the day

After watching the hummingbirds flitting around the tree behind our rig and then zooming over to our neighbor's rig to feed, I told Denny we had to make a trip into town to find a feeder that attaches to the window by means of a suction cup so we could watch them close up. So off we went where we found a Perky Pet hummer feeder that would work great at the Ace Hardware store. I even broke down and purchased their hummer feeder powdered concentrate so I wouldn't have to mess with boiling sugar and water right off the bat.

Within five minutes of sticking that puppy on the rear living room window we had a female hummer testing it out. Of course, the male Anna's hummer immediately chased her off, and then he went over to the neighbor's to dine afterwards. That was the pattern for most of the afternoon; he didn't necessarily want to feed at our feeder, but he was going to make sure no other hummingbird ate there either!

So the afternoon was spent watching the antics of the birds that rest in the tree to the rear of our rig. I was able to catch a bit of the Vermillion Flycatcher, but I'm going to have to try for a better picture of him before we leave. The tree the birds like has weeping willow-like branches and the passing breeze sets off a constant flurry of motion in the tree so that it is very difficult to get a clear shot of the birds. The hummers will be harder due to the fact that the sun creates glare on the window tinting inside our rig so I'll have to find a good angle to try to get close up for a good shot of one on the feeder. That is, if they ever sit/hover long enough.

We RVers have such difficult problems-heh.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005



A river, a babbling brook, a pond, a lake, an ocean. A pounding thunderstorm, a gentle shower. To me, water in all its forms is soothing, life affirming.

I sat outside for two hours yesterday, just watching the river flow by as the wind created curliqued eddies on the surface. An Anna's hummingbird kept me company, dancing in the air as if delighting in the day. Mr. Rogers would have loved this beautiful day in the neighborhood. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Where we've been this year

I thought I'd post a map showing the basic route of our travels for this year. The remainder of this year will be spent moving about southern Arizona trying to stay warm before heading to Ohio for Christmas. I wish I could figure out a way to store body heat for use in the cold weather there. Sigh.

Anyway, the map. And where we are now.

Monday, October 17, 2005

The Apple Doesn't Fall Far From The Tree

This afternoon my son sent me notice that he had started a blog and had this "politics test" on his site. After taking it I discovered we had similar scores as social and economic liberals. Wonder what he'll think of that? Heh.

You are a

Social Liberal
(76% permissive)

and an...

Economic Liberal
(18% permissive)

You are best described as a:


Link: The Politics Test on Ok Cupid
Also: The OkCupid Dating Persona Test

Moving on

It's time to head to the next campground and spits of rain are just starting. I'll assume that by the time we're ready to start putting away hoses and power cords and raising the jacks that it will be pouring as that is what usually happens. Denny puts on one of the handy-dandy free Niagara Falls ponchos we got for walking under the falls several years ago while I wait until the last minute to crank up the rear jacks and raise/lower the front jacks to their proper level for hitching up. Sometimes having the pink jobs works out just fine!

Today's move will only be a 90 mile jaunt down familiar state route 95. There are flash flood warnings posted for the entire area however due to the stalled front hovering over the San Diego area. Since I'll forego the morning water aerobics (yeah, that makes sense, I might get wet!) we'll probably beat any problems with flooding as I assume that will occur later this afternoon.

Safe travels to all those on the move.

Sunday, October 16, 2005


Howard and Linda Payne of are going to be giving a seminar on the full-timing lifestyle in the upcoming Tampa RV Super Show in January. Howard has asked the readers of his daily blog to give him suggestions on what they advice they consider important or what questions those who are new to the lifestyle would like answered.

When people have asked us about full-timing, the first thing we tell them as a couple is that they must like each other. Now that sounds strange, but you have to realize that as a full-timer, you will be downsizing from a three, four or five bedroom house to a box that by law can have no more than 400 interior square feet. In our fifth wheel, that translates to a living room/kitchen floor space that is three paces wide by eight paces long. Pace that off on your driveway to get an idea of the size and you'll see what we mean by needing to like each other.

Beyond that, if you don't already own a rig you have to decide on whether you'd prefer to live in a motorhome, a fifth-wheel, a travel trailer, a Class C, a Class B or a truck camper. Is it sounding complex? There are benefits and downsides to each and you'll get a different opinion on what to buy from each full-timer you talk to about it.

You have to work out a budget; can you afford to spend every night in a private campground or will you have to rely on state/county/city parks and/or boondocking? What is it in your current lifestyle that you can't give up? Eating out every night? Playing golf three times a week? New square-dancing costume every month? Will your savings/pension/SS be sufficient to allow you to enjoy those things you currently enjoy?

Do you have a goal in traveling? Ours is to play golf in all fifty states, although we're in no hurry to check each state off our list (as mentioned before, we're starting our eighth year of full-timing and still have ten states we've not explored). A couple we met this summer has the goal of visiting every national park/monument/historic site in the U.S. Others use their time to visit friends and family across the country. Some folks work full or part time and just travel from job to job.

There's a lot to consider before making the decision to become a full-timer. Even the definition of full-timer varies; some folks take their rig to one campground in the summer and park it there for six months then move south to a second campground for the remainder of the year and call that full-timing. Some still own a house, but travel for nine to twelve months of the year and call it full-timing. Most of us who full-time have sold our homes and stay on the move twelve months of the year, whether it be moving every two to three days, once a week, bi-monthly, monthly or whatever. But I have to say choosing this lifestyle is one of the smartest decisions we ever made.

So, did that answer any questions?

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Alabama Dip vs. a T-Bone

We hit the Safeway grocery store today as Monday we leave for the town of Ehrenberg, AZ which doesn't have a grocery store of its own. You have to drive to Blythe, CA to shop at the Albertson's and in the winter the snowbirds that roost in Quartzite for the winter can pick the shelves bare. So as we were shopping I spied a loaf of Velveeta and instantly changed our dinner plans of a T-bone steak served with a wilted lettuce salad to wine and Alabama dip served with tortilla chips and pork rinds.

A co-worker from the PD got the recipe from a Pfaltzgraff (the dinnerware folks) calendar and she and I made it for a Christmas party and it was a hit. Everyone who has ever tasted it has loved it and it's totally Atkin's friendly when served with pork rinds although it's best with those little Dorito "scoop" style tortilla chips or even with Frito's scoops. Denny and I will make a meal of it and since it makes a ton, I freeze it in a couple of containers to enjoy at leisure or to carry to a potluck or "happy hour" at a campground.

Since we're both following a modified low-carb diet we enjoy meals as simple as shrimp cocktail served with slices of a variety of cheeses or a more elaborate casserole made with a combination of veggies, meats and cheeses. It was harder when Denny was still eating bread and potatoes and pastas as I'd almost have to make two separate meals at times, but since he's dropped fifteen pounds he's willing to continue to eat this way for a while longer.

So we'll have the steak soon, but in the meantime we'll feast on spicy, meaty, cheesy drippy dip for dinner. I'll pour Denny a glass of Riesling and have a glass of Shiraz myself. If you're in the neighborhood, drop by-we have plenty.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

As we were heading to the Havasu Landing casino from the London Bridge dock we passed this group of folks who seemed to be participating in racing or a timed maneuvering of SeaDoos and JetSkis. Posted by Picasa

Some of the spectators and racers on Lake Havasu north of the London Bridge. Posted by Picasa

The view from The Landing restaurant at the Havasu Landing Casino on Lake Havasu Posted by Picasa

Some people collect Beanie Babies


Due to space considerations, I think collecting casino "player cards" make much more sense! This is my current collection of 25, although we've been to several more casinos where we didn't bother to get player cards early in our travels. Now I do simply to see how many we can get. I have also started a fairly good-sized collection of grocery store "savings cards" although those we pick up in self-defense against local prices. Now I just need to figure out a good use for those stretchy cords that the casinos give you with every card as I feel guilty throwing them away. Surely some bored person has found a wondrous secondary use for these little monsters that have tangled themselves up in the back of my junk drawer.

The reason I bring up casino cards is that we drove to the landing at the London Bridge today to take the casino boat shuttle to Havasu Landing Casino on the California side of the lake. If you go into the gift shop below Barley's Brewery you can get free passes to ride the shuttle, otherwise it's two dollars per person for a two-way ride. Havasu Landing is a tiny casino in a nondescript stucco building that looks more like a tired lakeside bar and grill than casino, but there are about 200 slot machines ranging from penny slots to dollar slots inside and it's very clean and pleasant. The slot machines themselves are pretty tight, but having lunch at The Landing restaurant at the casino while looking out over the lake through huge floor to ceiling windows made the afternoon worthwhile. We highly recommend the beer-battered fried mushrooms which are not Atkins-friendly but are very good! For entertainment while eating we watched a pied-billed grebe (a very small water bird with big round eyes) attempt to eat a crawdad or some multi-legged creature that was half the size of the grebe himself. Somehow he managed it. I think the next time we're here in town we'll ride the shuttle, have a nice lunch with a great view and forget about the gambling! Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

What do you fear?

My grandmother and my great-grandmother on my father's side both developed dementia. So I've always figured the odds are pretty good that I'll develop it someday too. When I misplace something I start to think, "uh-oh!", but then go about my business.

Well, today I couldn't find my back-up disk for my digital pictures. I usually back up my pictures onto a CD after uploading them into the computer and today after adding some photos to the computer I reached into the cabinet for my back-up disk and it wasn't there. I looked through all the jewel cases, looked through a separate CD holder, pulled everything out of the cabinet where I keep the disk and...nothing. No back-up CD. Went through everything a second time, and then a third time. And then a fourth time. Searched on top of the desk, behind the printer. Searched the other cupboard. Nothing. As I walked to the kitchen to fix lunch the thought occurred to me that it was finally starting, I was going to develop dementia after all and I just burst into tears. Denny finally got me calmed down by making me laugh and after lunch he started looking for the disk by going through the magazines under the coffee table (it makes sense when you realize the disk had been on top of the desk while we were traveling and the coffee table is moved long-ways beside the desk for travel purposes when we pull in the slides). And that's exactly where the disk was-under some magazines. Whew. I'm not crazy.


Tuesday, October 11, 2005


It's a good thing I had made Denny's favorite meal of Hooter's-style hot wings for dinner as the evening went downhill afterwards.

Our biggest source of acrimony in our full-timing life is the DISH TV system. This occurs mainly when we set up at a new campground and Denny is searching for the strongest signal and says "okay, what do you have?" (signal reading) and I say "nothing", and he says "that's impossible as the meter is pegging off the wall". This conversation has been repeated verbatim many times. Sometimes a tree is in the way, sometimes a cable connector has been bad or loose, sometimes it's the satellite gods laughing at us. Regardless, dealing with the DISH system is about the only time we yell at each other.

So guess how much fun it was to install a new DISH DVR 510 receiver? We got the cables hooked up, the remote set to control the TV, followed the instructions and no signal. Played around, changed the remote control configuration, and then Denny changed the outside cables. No signal. He checked the living room and now we had no signal there. He blamed me for changing the band on the remote, I calmly suggested it might be the cables. Nope, couldn't be. Called tech support, worked with a young lady for 20 minutes until she suggested switching receivers. Nope, tried that in the past and it's a big hassle pulling the receiver out of the entertainment center for naught. Thanked her and said we'd call back in the morning. Asked Denny to please check the cables outside again so he grudgingly did so. Guess what? Both receivers now have signals. It's always the simple correction, right?

So everything is copacetic until the next time the signal doesn't come through. But we do have the script down pat.

Monday, October 10, 2005

From my daughter-in-law's favorite poet

All three of our grandkids have birthdays in September and October. Grandkids. I'm too young to have grandkids. Sigh.

My Younger Days

When I was in my younger days,
I weighed a few pounds less,
I needn't hold my tummy in
to wear a belted dress.
But now that I am older,
I've set my body free;
There's the comfort of elastic
Where once my waist would be.
Inventor of those high-heeled shoes
My feet have not forgiven;
I have to wear a nine now,
But used to wear a seven.
And how about those pantyhose-
They're sized by weight, you see,
So how come when I put them on
The crotch is at my knee?
I need to wear these glasses
As the print's been getting smaller;
And it wasn't very long ago
I know that I was taller.
Though my hair has turned to gray
and my skin no longer fits,
On the inside, I'm the same old me,
It's the outside's changed a bit.

But, on a positive note...
I've learned that no matter what happens, or how bad
it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better
I've learned that you can tell a lot about a person by
the way he/she handles these three things:
A rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree
I've learned that regardless of your relationship with
your parents, you'll miss them when they're gone from
your life.
I've learned that making a "living" is not the same
thing as making a "life."
I've learned that life sometimes gives you a second
I've learned that you shouldn't go through life with a
catcher's mitt on both hands. You need to be able to
throw something back.

I've learned that whenever I decide something with an
open heart, I usually make the right decision.
I've learned that even when I have pains, I don't have
to be one.
I've learned that every day you should reach out and
touch someone. People love a warm hug, or just a
friendly pat on the back.

I've learned that I still have a lot to learn.
I've learned that people will forget what you said,
people will forget what you did, but people will never
forget how you made them feel.

-----Maya Angelou

Sunday, October 09, 2005

News from home

Since 1999 we've been following the case of a young girl named Erika Baker who went missing from my hometown. The case eventually made national news,reaching the LA TV stations that we get through DISH West Coast feed. We stay in touch with former co-workers at the local police department, read the local newspaper online and of course, get information from my mom who still lives there.

Yesterday one of the presumed participants of the case was convicted. The story is a long one, involving an attorney who is still facing charges for obstructing justice for refusing to release information given to her by a now-deceased participant in the alleged hit-and-run-homicide, retracted confessions and confusing testimony. The saddest part is that little Erika's body has never been found and may never be due to conflicting statements by those involved.

When Erika was first reported missing hundreds of people from the community showed up to volunteer for search parties, to hand out flyers and to man the phones at the call center set up to take tips. The Kettering Police Department spent hundreds and hundreds of manhours investigating the case and many officers became personally involved with the case which is still not over simply due to the fact that Erika's body has not been recovered. I have to admit, I am very proud of my hometown and the people who live and work there.

It's tragic that this scenario is repeated over and over in cities all over the country. While improving technology and new laws have helped, such as with Amber Alerts, you simply have to watch the local news to hear of another child lost. And you wonder how a country chock-full of people who can be so wonderful can have so many monsters.

Friday, October 07, 2005

A small rant

People who litter should be shot.

Okay, okay, that's a bit harsh. But yesterday when we were geocaching at a very lovely hidden cove near a National Wildlife Preserve here in Lake Havasu City we discovered not only the cache, but beer bottles, pop bottles, potato chip cans and paper debris. How hard is it to pack away your trash in whatever bag/backpack/container you used to carry your stuff to this spot? I guess it's the lack of consideration for others that irks me. From now on I'm going to take a trash bag and disposable glove with me for trash pick up, but I'm going to be grumbling the whole time. Mumble, stupid people, grumble, inconsiderate louts, mumble.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Not the best way to start the day

Due to the heat, we've started taking our walk around the campground it the morning instead of after dinner. The temperature here is still in the nineties after 6 p.m., so Denny has been getting up early to walk with me. Three loops around and we were ready to quit which was when we noticed the flat tire on the truck. It's a good thing we did, as we had a ten a.m. appointment at the local Ford dealer to have the radiator flushed and the serpentine belt changed as routine maintenance and it would have been hard to get there on time if we hadn't discovered the flat. Strangely enough, it turns out our road service folks are based in Lake Havasu City so the young lady answering the phone was familiar with our location and was able to get someone out to us quickly to get the tire changed.

The good part of the day was discovering we could use a coupon for the radiator flush that I had found in the "White Sheet" while waiting for an oil change yesterday. I have seen these small local papers filled with ads in other towns, but hadn't really checked them out. I certainly will in the future as it saved us $70 on our bill today. I'm all for saving money!

Since our day was kind of messed up we used the afternoon to start building a new shelf under the TV in the bedroom since we've ordered a new DISH 501 DVR receiver. Our current receiver sits sideways for space and air flow considerations but since the new equipment has a hard drive in it I figure it needs to sit level, creating the need for a new shelf. This is when Denny misses his workroom in the garage with handy access to power tools and a huge variety of fasteners and glues. But we made do with those few hand tools we do carry and tomorrow I'll finish the staining/sealing and we'll work on attaching the shelf so we can be ready for the new unit when it arrives. It was fun working on this little project together and Denny didn't even flinch as I pounded in the nails while he held the edges of the boards together-a brave man indeed.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

London Bridge is falling down...

As a child, you possibly learned and sang this nursery rhyme and as a parent you probably taught it to your child. London Bridge is falling down, falling down, falling down...but it isn't, as it's "alive and well" in Lake Havasu City.

Robert McCullough of the McCullough Oil Corporation purchased the London Bridge in 1968 when the British government put the structure up for sale. It seems the bridge was no longer strong enough to carry the amount of traffic crossing the Thames daily, so Mr. McCullough had the bridge dismantled and shipped to the U.S. to be rebuilt in the then-small town of Lake Havasu City. The bridge connects to an island where the buildings replicate an old English village.

What's truly fun is to walk across this historical structure and realize that it is a part of your childhood that you never thought you'd actually experience. I'm crossing the London Bridge-the real London Bridge! Is it any wonder Denny and I haven't tired of traveling and exploring this strange and wonderful country we live in?

Monday, October 03, 2005

Red Cliff Recreation Area, Harrisburg/Leeds, UT

Contrary to how it might seem, this is not turning into a geocaching blog, but we went to the Red Cliff Recreation Area to find a geocache and we discovered a beautiful hike on BLM land. What we didn't find was the cache!

The parking fee for the Red Cliff Rec Area is $2.00, but with the Golden Age Passport it is $1.00. The picnic area is currently closed due to flooding, but the primitive camping area is open for $8 a day.

There is an Anasazi archaeological site about 1000 feet off the main road and hiking trails that lead to the small waterfall and farther into the canyons. The rock formations are beautiful and it's very peaceful in the park with Quail Creek running near the hiking trails. There are areas where you have to walk on rocks to cross the creek and to climb farther into the canyon you have to use foot-holds carved into the sandstone, but the views are worth the effort. Due to the heat of late summer we went in the late afternoon and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and the colors of the rocks. You can cool your feet in the cold waters of Quail Creek and watch for eagles that check out the pools and narrow canyon areas. This is one of those quiet little gems you'll treasure. I did.

We thought this twisted tree looked a lot like an elephant's head. Can you see it? Please ignore Shirley who was clowning around. Heh. Posted by Picasa

Somewhere in this area is a geocache. We didn't find it so I can't ruin the surprise for others. It's a gorgeous hike just to get to the site and more scenery awaits around the bend. Posted by Picasa

A small cascade in the late summer that is a decent-sized waterfall in the spring. The canyon goes back quite a distance with small pools of water along the way. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, October 01, 2005

We actually went out and about on a Saturday!

I know you're probably getting sick of red rock pictures, but I'm including one of the view I see every morning while doing water aerobics. Having a gorgeous view makes exercising so much easier!

But as to our actually leaving the campground on a Saturday; we were invited by the campground activities director, Shirley, to join a few couples who were going to go geo-caching. Since we just recently bought our Meridian Gold hand-held GPS, I figured it would be good practice in using it and figuring out some of the screens, plus geo-caching sounded like a lot of fun. There were four couples, three of whom had GPS systems and one that came along for the ride to see if they would like the experience enough to buy a hand-held GPS. We ended up going to three different caches in the area, choosing the ones easiest to get to and that didn't take a lot of walking, yet were interesting. Audry and Jim found the first one, Sandy and her Jim found the second and Denny and I found the third. We enjoyed comparing the results of the directions between the two brands of GPs systems (I think the other two couples had Garmins) and trying to figure out how to read the screens to find the caches. After the third cache we decided to celebrate at the Hunan City Restaurant in Hurricane, UT, which everyone enjoyed and then because I mentioned what a great pie maker Denny was they had to run to the store and buy a pie since I made them hungry for one! We had a lot of fun and I think I learned more about our personal GPS system by taking it out and using it for geocaching than I have by reading the instruction manual.

I won't go into specifics about the caches so not to ruin them for others, but the one in the Silver Reef area was a good site simply because there are other things to see in the area. There is a Wells Fargo building there that is on the National Historic Register, a sculptor has a business nearby, there are two pioneer cemeteries there as well as the remains of several silver mines.

While we were out at the second cache, Sandy introduced us to the pleasure of eating prickly pear which is very sweet and good as long as you don't bite in so far that you get a mouthful of seeds. Of course, you eat the reddish purple pod at the end of the cactus, not the cactus plant itself.

All in all, quite a productive day!

We've discovered our first cache as a group and are logging our find. We're now officially geo-cachers! Posted by Picasa

Our group checking out the cache discovered by Sandy and Jim. It was a nice easy site for beginners like us! Posted by Picasa
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