Sunday, January 31, 2010

Only a Paper Moon

Since leaving Myrtle Beach, Patches' favorite time for a walk is any time after dark.  Last night I stepped outside with her sans camera and so missed the opportunity to get a picture of the biggest, yellowest moon I have seen in months.  Low on the horizon, barely above the mountain tops, this glorious, glowing orb gleamed so distinctly in the clean, desert air that it appeared to be painted on the sky.  So the picture of the moon remains in my memory instead of on this web page and what you see above is from our moonlit stroll of two nights ago.
Since I wasn't concentrating on trying to snap the perfect picture of the moon I was more aware of our surroundings.  At first I only heard the crunch of my feet on the crushed rock that covers most of the ground here at the campground, but gradually my ears opened to other sounds.  Next I noticed the sound of chirping tree frogs and barking dogs, then the crickets and finally the slap of a fish jumping out of the water of the small fishing pond on the grounds.  Beside the motor noise of the random car going in and out of the campground there was no human noise; everyone else was encapsulated in their tin cans on wheels while Patches and I shared the evening with the night creatures.  While Patches sniffed ground and bushes with head held low, I turned my face upwards and gazed at the stars, lucky enough to see a satellite arcing across the sky while searching for Orion, the only constellation I can recognize beyond the Big and Small Dippers.

It has become my favorite time too.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Sunset on the Superstitions

As I was fixing dinner last night I glanced out our back window and saw the sunlight on the Superstition Mountains behind us.  Over a period of nine minutes I took these photographs which admittedly are of poor quality, my excuse being if I took them outside from ground level I would have been 3 feet lower and therefore most of the shots would have been blocked by the chain link fence and the house across the street.  So the images are marred by the interior lights reflecting on the windows, but I wanted to show the wonderful play of light on the mountains along with the beautiful clouds.  Pretend you don’t see the manufactured home, the power lines and the flashbacks, okay? ‘kthx.20100123sunsetajAZ2 [1024x768]20100123sunsetajAZ3 [1024x768]
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Saturday, January 23, 2010

Rock and Roll

We had a bit of rain over the past two days; as always in this area roads had to be closed due to flooding.  There are very few areas in this part of the world that have storm sewers so during downpours there is no place for the rain water to go once it hits the hard packed desert sand and gravel.  Wind gusts of up to 60 mph blew down shallow-rooted palo verde trees and snapped our neighbor's flag pole.  And the winds caused the Superstition Mountains to disappear from view when we looked out our rear window as shown in the above pictures.

All of which meant it was a good time to shop for wood for shelving and for metal shelving units to create more space in our bins and cupboards.  A couple of cupboards inside the fifth wheel were rearranged to better accommodate our "stuff" and we picked up some brochures on pull-out shelving as an idea for future creativity on Denny's part.  We also picked up a new water filtration system that we'll be trying in an effort to have some consistency to the taste of our drinking water/ice cubes in our travels.  If it works as advertised, then we'll put the name on our fulltiming website for others to try.  Denny will probably install it when we hit Yuma next week.  First he has to figure out how he's going to tap into the refrigerator water lines since we'll do that rather than drill through the Corian countertop by the kitchen sink.  The refrigerator in our new rig has an water dispenser in the door, so Denny plans on just connecting the water filtration system to that.  All of which means there may be some curse words flying around in the Yuma area sometime next week.  Fair warning.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Not in the Mood

The notice came up this week for the renewal of my website; the poor thing has been sadly neglected the past two years while Denny and I sat in one place working at our parents' homes. It's hard to keep up a travel website and blog when you are not traveling. I also just haven't been in the mood; a lingering bit of depression/grief? Who knows? But I haven't had much to say.

Yesterday was a sociable day for Denny and I; we went with a group of folks to see Avatar at the Imax, although poor Denny sat with his eyes closed through most of it. He gets nauseous on amusement park rides and the movie is one, big, long ride. Afterwards friends Barb and Rene hosted a chili dinner followed by an evening of Mexican Train (big with RVers). Much tippling and laughter ensued.

Today we'll work on finishing the new shelving that Denny built. I have to take some of the weight out of the cupboard on one of the slideouts as it's throwing off the alignment of the slideout. Since I need to coat the shelves with polyurethane I have to do it today; the dreaded thunderstorms/major flooding/impending doom are coming tomorrow.

That's the agenda for now.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Weather Alert

My weather icon on the computer is yellow this morning for a weather alert. Since the radar on the screen shows nothing, I open the alert to's going to RAIN! Monday, Tuesday and MAYBE WEDNESDAY! OMG!

Okay, seriously though, when it rains in the desert it's like six inches of snow on the roadways in the Midwest; people forget how to drive. Admittedly, the rain mixing with the oil and dirt on the roadways here makes the pavement slippery, but the big danger is the flooding on the roads and in the washes that cut across the secondary roads. When it rains in the desert, it often rains hard and quick so that the soil/sand does not have time to absorb the rain and thus flooding quickly ensues. And people try to drive through the water, not understanding how quickly it flows through the washes and how deep it quickly becomes and so they become stories on the six o'clock news either as a rescue victim or as a drowning victim.

And thus, a weather alert because it's going to RAIN!

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Ruffled Her Feathers

I was concerned late this morning, when I scrambled up the small hill of dirt and gravel behind our rig to walk Patches and spied a female roadrunner. Not that seeing a roadrunner is a problem, but this one appeared to have been roughed up or caught by a predator. I had my camera with me and zoomed in on her, thinking to look for injuries. All I could think of was that a bunch of her feathers had been pulled out and that she was hurt because she didn't move upon seeing Patches with me. But silly me, the roadrunner was only doing what I was doing; enjoying the warmth of the sun. By spreading her wings out and down and ruffling up her body feathers she was able to soak up a few rays and feel the heat of the sun on her skin. Once I stepped a little closer she settled her feathers and took off at a roadrunner-like pace, disappearing into the scrub bushes. And once again, I was able to see a little bit more of nature because of the slow pace of walking a cat.

Speaking of potential injuries, the desert is filled with trees and bushes that cover themselves in thorns to protect their leaves, seeds and berries. This little beauty is nothing BUT thorns and is the main reason I walk with a flashlight at night--those thorns are like needles.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Who Needs PS?

One of the things I love above Arizona is the sunsets. Out here, you don't need PhotoSh*p to intensify the color of the sky because Mother Nature does that all on her own. These shots were taken on the hillside that we're backed up against, so you see the tops of RVs at the bottom of the shots. Denny had just taken some luscious pork chops off the grill, so I rushed the shots a bit, but the colors speak for themselves. The fourth picture is actually the sunrise behind The Beast this morning, taken from inside the trailer since I don't wander out in my robe when it's 30 degrees outside; I'm weird like that.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Another Time(Zone)

It's 4:30AM Mountain Time and I'm up because my body says it's 5:30AM Central Time. Heck, it REALLY thinks it's 6:30AM Eastern Time because I haven't yet moved out of THAT mode. The real reason I'm up is because I heard Patches scratching at the carpet, which means that she once again peed just outside her litter box.

We've thrown a lot at her the last month; new trailer and being moved back and forth daily between the old trailer and the new one while work was being done inside the new one. Then I accidentally crushed her litter box with the bedroom slideout when I forgot to move the box to a larger open area. And when looking for a new box (none of which was as large as what she is used to) I found a new set of cat dishes and bought them. Dumb, dumb, dumb. She is a creature of habit and boy did I throw new stuff at her; now the carpet is paying the price.

December was a month of travails rather than travels for all of us. I'm hoping that once we settle into a routine of moving weekly/bi-weekly rather than daily the three of us will relax more and that the kitty "accidents" will stop before the new carpet is totally ruined.

So, how has YOUR morning gone?

Saturday, January 02, 2010

A Sign of the Times

This sign pretty much sums up Van Horn, Texas; broken, faded, nondescript. There is history to the town; founded when the railway came through in 1881, used as a base because of the natural wells in the area, popular as a movie set for Western films. The town is not close to anything of great scenic or historic importance, has no famous landmarks, no shopping other than a small market and a Dollar General, is home to two restaurants, one of which may not be open at any given time due to the lack of suitable employees, and hosts block after block of abandoned motels/motor courts straight out of the 1940s. It's a sad little town that turns magical at night under a huge sky filled with stars since there are very few businesses to light up the evening sky. And for that reason alone, I'm enjoying this brief stay.
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