Because We Can - Fulltime RV'ing

Journal Archive 12/11 - 12/20 2006

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Dec 11

People travel south in the winter to find warmer weather. For example, right now Linda's sister, Katherine, is in the Jacksonville, Florida area enjoying daytime temperatures in the 70's and nights in the mid to upper 50's. We also went south, looking for warmer weather, in Pahrump Nevada, and look what we found

A little cool

Guess we can't have everything. The low temperature outside is not all that is wrong with this picture however. Some weeks ago when I was posting a similar picture of the temperature I had noticed the clock was off by 12 hours, which I later adjusted to show the correct time. This photo was taken at 7:15 AM, yet the clock shows 7:15 PM. Somehow or other the 12 hour error has returned. I think it may be time to break out the instructions.

Remembering our vow of walking everyday, we pursued it with gusto today. Right after breakfast we set out on our first tour of the park for the day and ran into a couple who have been fulltimers for over 12 years. Falling into the small world category, they had been in Winchester Bay for two weeks in September and had walked up to the Lighthouse a number of times. They ended up inviting us over to their place tomorrow night to play Pegs and Jokers with another couple, which should be a lot of fun, even though we have never played this particular game before.

Back at the coach, Linda did a very small amount of Christmas decorating which amounted to putting a piece of fabric over the steering wheel, placing a snowman on the dash and placing a gold garland where the bottom of the windshield and the dash meet. She had brought along a very small box of Christmas decorations, but discovered that almost all of them require being hung rather than simply setting on a flat surface. She's going to put her mind to it and see what she can come up with. You have to look close, but as the photo shows, at least we have something up.

Our Christmas decorations

We spent some time digging boxes out from down below and not finding what we were looking for, then thinking of some other box it might be in and looking there. Our plans are to do one of our major unpacking and repacking projects, because then and only then, will we know where everything is. Linda wants to get her tomato plant started, but first we need to find the seeds, peat pots and potting soil she packed somewhere. Maybe tomorrow. All this hunting through boxes was broken up with computer time and another walk. Exercise to this degree is not something we are used to and about halfway through the half hour of striding the streets of the park, Linda was beginning to feel some pain. My quips about no pain, no gain not withstanding, we had to cut our walk short. Like they say, getting old is pigeon poop.

As we were returning to the coach, the sun dipped below the clouds to the west, but the mountains remained in full illumination. That necessitated turning around an walking back to the edge of the park where could watch without having a row of RV's in front of us. It was so spectacular that Linda didn't even complain about retracing our steps, even with her aching back.

Majestic mountains

I need to work on it a little bit, but this is the first panoramic stitched photo that I have posted. It started life as four photos, then was stitched together and cropped to the size on the page. I've seen these on other web pages and they tend to be very large, slow loading files. I had been thinking that if you reduce the file size you would lose some of the detail, but then again, so what. It is a twilight shot after all. If you want to see what the original looked like after stitching, but before cropping, it is here.

Whether we were supposed to walk back down that row to see the mountains or to see something else may be open to debate. For, after taking the series of photos of the mountains, we stumbled onto a mighty mysterious place. We knew Area 51 was located in the vicinity of Pahrump, but never realized it was literally just down the street. Well, okay, maybe not, but when we saw the little "Area 51" sign on this building we just had to stop and take a picture. By the way, the pickup truck parked in the driveway for this site had just about every type of antenna known to man or alien mounted on it. Maybe it was Area 51 after all.

Strange place

Perhaps it was all the exercise from the walk, but for whatever reason, I volunteered to cook dinner. Not only cook dinner, but also to figure out what to fix. Looking in the refrigerator, I spied the other half of the Kielbasi. There was a sweet potato on the counter and hence the question of what to fix was solved. As we were eating we remarked how, for all those many years before South Beach, we would slice white potatoes and fix them with onions and Kielbasi. The only problem was that in order to make them taste good, we would then have to smother them in either catsup or barbecue sauce. When fixed with sweet potatoes the difference was unbelievable. Between the natural sugars in the onions and the sweet potatoes, a caramelization takes place which gives an underlying sweetness to the dish. Plus it is far healthier for us. What a combination.

After dinner Linda was tired, so she laid down on the couch to rest, but looking at her triggered a thought in my mind. She looked so pretty laying there in that little alcove and it was at that moment that it occurred to me. Why couldn't we hang our string of Christmas lights along the top edge of the slideout? Before long the Christmas spirit was on display.

Christmas lights

It was a special moment for me when, just before heading back to bed, I turned out all the lights, save for this string of colorful little miniature bulbs and basked in the memory of Christmas seasons past. My special thing was always to get up long before dawn, plug the tree in and spend a little time just basking in all of it's beauty and meaning. This year I can still have my special time. May you also find those special moments in your life.

Dec 12

It was another cold morning in Pahrump, but just like clockwork, as soon as the sun came out, it began to warm up. By the time Linda stuck her nose out from under the covers, we could turn the heat pump on and make the coach downright comfy. Breakfast was the usual oatmeal, steel cut oats, wheat bran and a few dried cherries cooked in nonfat milk. Then it was time to go to work, at least for Linda. When our coach had been at the Monaco service center, self adhering plastic sheeting was put down to protect the carpet. Since we knew we would be traveling through snow country we had left it down. This morning it was coming up and the floors and rugs were being cleaned, courtesy of Linda.

A blond stripper

I thought all women intuitively knew how to play the role of a stripper, but as you can tell from the picture, Linda had difficulty taking everything off. I watched her, amused as she struggled and yanked trying to take it all off. I guess that was when my male genes took over. Here was a woman trying to strip, having difficultly, so what better to do than help take it all off, which was exactly what I did. I showed her the key was not to try to take it all off at once, but rather take a little off at a time. In short order she had stripped everything off, well almost everything, as there was on last little thing left. Linda the every resourceful female, promptly got down on her hands a knees to remove it.

Doing domestic duties

As you can see, all things are not what they seem. I'll bet when I was talking about her stripping that last thing off you thought I meant the carpet, but as you can see, it was some of the sticky backing of the plastic that had gotten on the edge of the tile. The mind sure can play tricks with words, can't it.

As you can tell, my main job was to document all these activities and pretty much stay out of her way. Something, that when she takes up her domestic duties, I'm fairly good at. Before long the sweeper was out and things were looking better by the moment. The only delicate situation that arose was when she started sweeping under the dining table. Cleaning the throw rug, she exclaimed, "There's some squash you spilled on here, maybe you should have to clean it off." Now I know that I'm not the most fastidious eater, but my style is to make a 'grand mess', as Linda terms it, of the table top, not the floor.

Before responding, code for - starting the battle - I had enough of my wits about me to at least glance at the floor. There certainly was a dried on glob of orangish yellow substance that did indeed resemble mummified squash. That was not what caught my eye however, it was the location of that spot. Here I was accused of this dastardly deed, but as Linda was pointing directly at the evidence, the evidence was pointing directly back at her. It was right where she always sits, not where I sit. There are times to turn tail and run, and times to stand and fight for what is right. I chose the middle ground, and simply commented that it appeared to be under her chair and not mine. She glared up at me, lips curling back ever so slightly, then resumed trying to remove the spot with even more intensity than before. Believe me, it was a full five minutes before I was even going to do so much as utter a peep.

While I completed my 'Benedictine silence', she finished cleaning the spot and moved on to other things. As they say, an occasional dose of humility is good for the soul. That must have been the case, for when I next looked up from the computer, Christmas decorations were sprouting all over the place. She had decided that if most of the decorations she had brought along were the hanging type, they'd be hung, by golly. (Better the ornaments to be hung than me). And so it was that our coach was soon abounding in the look of the Holidays. It's amazing what a woman can do with a little ribbon, tape and staples.

More Christmas decorations

In the afternoon, Linda took some time off alone and went into town shopping. Among the stores she ravaged was the WalMart SuperCenter, so we're awash, once again, in fresh fruits and vegetables. All that shopping also made her hungry, so when she asked me to get the Splenda and mixer out of the cupboard, I knew there was baking on the horizon. When she wants to bake, she wants to bake, so it wasn't long until there were fresh baked cookies cooling on the counter. It was one of those knock off recipes, this one for Pecan Sandies, taken from an RV website. I did a little taste testing and while they were good, they were also very bland. But I will reserve final judgment until we've had them a few times. Me thinks it is one of those websites where they put up recipes just to have some on their site, not because the recipes are any good.


Dinner was the usual soup, then it was off down the street for an evening of "Jokers and Pegs", though a more apt description after the fact would be an evening of rollicking good times where the girls beat the boys 2 out of 3 at the game of "Pegs and Jokers". Sometimes it is unreal how much fun it can be when 3 couples get together in a 'shed' to play a game one of the couples doesn't have a clue about.

That we were the newcomers in more ways than one was readily appearent, but still, it surprised us that our hosts, Laura and Gordon had been fulltiming for 12 years, yet still owned their house, which they rent out. We also enjoyed listening to the tales of mountain driving where the power brakes and power steering went out, not once, but twice, that Gerald and Jeanette told. The term, fun, food and fellowship is oftentimes overused, but it was most definitely appropriate for our evening, just take one look at the smiling faces below.

Having fun

Back at the coach, we finished out the day with a glass of warm chocolate milk and the nearly tasteless imitation 'pecan sandies', then it was time to end what had been a special day. A day when we learned that there are many more forks in the fulltiming road. A day when we heard long time fulltimers say over and over again how much they loved this life, that there was so much of this country to see, it seemed like after 12 years on the road, they had just begun. The road truly does never end and we are glad we took the chance and started down it. Our thoughts this Dec 12th evening were exactly what George had written about in his post for today, Dec 12, 2006, and I quote:

"MsTioga and George were talking this afternoon about changes, challenges and trying new things. What a tragedy if you lived your entire life not testing your wings. Only to find out in heaven that you were always able to fly, if only you had tried.

If Jorge had obeyed the, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it rule" as suggested in many email received lately, he would still be living in an apartment in Concord, Califonia. He would have never met MsTioga. There would have been no Adventure, no Blog. And you.....what would you be doing right now? Hmmmmm?"

Linda and I are so thankful of that day, when driving back from camping we asked ourselves, do we really want to go back, do we really want to go to work tomorrow? The answer was, NO. But we are even more thankful we kept talking about it and finally decided to do something about. To take a chance, to spread our wings, to see if, indeed, we could fly. You have to be up here, high in the sky with us to see it, but let me tell you it is the most absolutely awesome view you could ever hope to see.

Dec 13

Why is it that sometimes things just get stuck in our minds and won't go away. As I lay in bed last night reading, a song popped into my mind and attached itself like a misplaced drop of SuperGlue that gets on your fingers. It was still there this morning when my eyes first slowly opened in the pre dawn darkness. It could have be just coincidence that it was on my mind or it might have been triggered by what I had written at the end of yesterdays post. The final bit of coincidence, or irony maybe, was that the group that originally recorded the song were named The Seekers.

Hey there! Georgie girl
Why do all the boys just pass you by?
Could it be you just don't try, or is it the clothes you wear?
You're always window shopping but never stopping to buy.

Dreaming of the someone you could be
Life is a reality, you can't always run away.
Don't be so scared of changing and rearranging yourself.
It's time for jumping down from the shelf a little bit.

Window shopping through life, how easy it is to do. It took us a long time to realize that we didn't just have to dream, we could do, and I'm so thankful we finally decided to jump down from the safety of the shelf we lived on. It brings to life the fact the words that are on every page of this website were meant, not just to read, but to be lived, "Life is not a dress rehearsal, Don't be afraid to laugh, love and retire early."

Since we had a number of jobs planned for the day, actually Linda had the jobs planned, and she and I had a lot of work to do, there was something different for breakfast. Having bought eggs at the WalMart, it was time for scrambled eggs with onions, green peppers and a hint of sun dried tomatoes, served with a couple of shakes of crushed red pepper and a sliced fresh pear. It certainly made for a pleasant change of pace.

As Linda was fixing breakfast I worked on the daily journal, but that darn song just kept rattling around in my head. Deciding it was time to step away from the computer for a few minutes, I went back to get my electric shaver. As I took that cold shaver down from the shelf, the song struck home, it was time to rearrange myself a little bit. Instead of a cold shaver, this morning it would be a warm shaver. The human mind, what a miraculous thing it can be.

Warm shave coming up

You know who, waited until I had dried and put away the last plate from breakfast, then announced our jobs for the day. I was actually relieved when she did, because I had been concerned they were going to be my jobs she had planned, not our jobs. While I finished up the daily journal, she took the bikes over to the wash rack and changed their color from red road grime to their natural blue. Then it was time to tackle the case of the 'were did we put it'.

All those boxes which were loaded willy nilly into the coach on our return after Thanksgiving needed sorting out, consolidating and repacking. She wanted the boxes placed on the concrete beside the coach. Of course this was on the opposite side from where the boxes were. Walk around the coach, duck under the slide, reach in, pull a box out, remember to duck to avoid banging my head on the slide.


As you can tell from the mountain on my temple, I didn't always remember to duck, though I did remember a few choice words which had fallen into disuse since we quit our jobs almost a year ago. Linda was a good sport about it, not asking me why I didn't duck and even getting me an ice cube to keep the swelling to the size of an apple as opposed to a grapefruit. Thank goodness I was wearing a hat like I always do, or there probably would have been blood spilled.

That was only a temporary inconvenience and as soon as she had me patched up, she put me back to work. On second thought, maybe that was why Linda was so solicitous of my well being, she needed me to carry boxes. Eventually the coach and the Explorer were emptied and Linda was acting more like a kid at Christmas time than someone organizing our things. One box in particular had brought a shout of glee, the one with her tomato seeds, peat pot and planting mix.

Like Christmas morning

Since her forté has always been organization, it wasn't long before the boxes were all precisely aligned and similar items were being grouped together. We did have one slight disagreement, which dealt with the size of the boxes. We had two different sized boxes and her intent was to have all items of a similar nature or use packed together. My objective was to minimize the number of boxes and to have the correct number of each to waste as little space as possible. That necessitated some repacking, but she was very understanding, even though it meant redoing the lists of what was in each box. Since this was a little out of character for Linda, I decided I must be getting the "sympathy vote" due to banging my head on the coach.

Linda is an excellent boxer

Amongst the items she uncovered was the following, maybe I would look good with that cute little goatee.

Looking good

Now that I look closely, maybe the goatee would attract something like what is just to his right side, but somehow I don't think that would pass Linda approval. The afternoon was a total blast for Linda, she got together with the girls to do some beading. She has always had a real talent for doing crafts and there have been times when I joined her. We have fond memories of a number of ceramic items we created together many years ago. I fact there is a Santa Claus I made for her that I am missing this year. To know the link with the past. To experience the connection of being human. The joy of life. The spirit of togetherness.

Dinner was leftovers, but what leftovers. I had to really compliment Linda on the meal. Microwaved grilled tuna, tossed salad, whole wheat couscous and broccoli. It was a meal where seconds were not an option, they were mandatory.

Good food

After dinner Linda worked on finishing the caterpillar bracelet and picking up the beads. It looks like those beads get harder and harder to see, as you age.

Where did it go

As Linda was finishing up her beading, I was also finishing up something, the new article for the website home page. It's about writing a journal and my hope is to post a total of three articles that address the different aspects of communicating through the use of a website. This first one is about what to look for in order make a personal RV website, your website. After a last look at the Christmas lights, we pulled the plug on another wonder day.

Dec 14

Walking out into the living area of the coach this morning, I noticed a light was on. I was about to turn it off so I could enjoy my moment with the Christmas lights in the darkness of the early morning when I recalled just why it was on. Linda, the former farm girl, had planted crops yesterday. The thoughts that were propagated in Linda's mind we after we had extricated the tomato seeds from their hiding place were starting to germinate, both figuratively and somehow in all that writing yesterday, describing the preparation and planting of the tomato seeds was missed. Since it is one of those annual life events as far as Linda is concerned, it isn't going to be missed by her efficient editors eye two days in a row, so I'd better write about it.

Last March she had started several Tiny Tim tomato seeds which she nurtured through the spring and summer until she could pick a few fresh red ripe tomatoes to eat each day. They lived up to their name, getting no bigger than a marble, but it satisfied her ancestral agrarian urges. That those tomatoes were delicious can be seen in her desire to start the process much earlier this year. To her, the hardest part of this process was finding where we had put the planting materials and seeds, the rest is a pure labor of love. She filled a 3 inch peat pot with vermiculite (to lessen the chance of damping off disease), soaked it in water to throughly and uniformly moisten it, then nestled three tomato seeds just below the surface, lovingly patting them snuggly into place. Then she covered the pot with a small bit of Saran Wrap to help hold in the moisture, using a toothpick to hold it up away from the top of the pot.

That sounds simple enough, but now the fun begins. Tomatoes germinate best when the temperatures are between 70º and 80º. The problem is how do we maintain these temperatures 24 hours a day, particularly when we don't like it that warm in the coach at this time of the year. We used to start large quantities of seeds in special racks with bottom heat, but here that is not an option. The ever resourceful Linda to the rescue however, that woman simply will not be denied her fresh home grown tomatoes. We do have gentle bottom heat in the coach and it is the bottom of the shelf above our recessed lights beside the sink. She had used this method last spring with success, so once again a few items were shifted around and shortly a makeshift incubator was at the ready. Not wanting any moisture to damage the shelf, she sat the peat pot in a small plastic container, which, with the Saran Wrap tent over the top, effectively making a miniature greenhouse.

Tomato nursery

For breakfast, Linda did a play on yesterday's theme, adding some fresh spinach to the scrambled eggs and a dollop of yogurt in which to dip the fresh pears. I think I wasn't the only one in the family who missed eating fresh fruits and vegetables. As you can see, I also enjoyed a little extra boost to liven up the flavors and get the day off to a red hot start.

A little bottle of kick'em up

As soon as the daily journal was posted, we were off on a day in the city. Pahrump may have nice weather, but there are things about it that leave something to be desired. Either that or we were craving the bright lights and excitement of the city where "what happens here, stays here." Being such low rollers that a caterpillar wouldn't even have to raise its feet to pass over us, the only thing was going to happen to us in Vegas as an experience in shopping, and what was going to stay there was some of our money. But then, isn't that what that advertising campaign is all about anyway, get those suckers here and them flummox us, I mean them, to the point they are separated from all their money.

You have to want to go to Las Vegas, since it is a 60 mile drive just to get there, but the things we wanted were there, so off we went. Our first destination was on the north side of town, which took us up I-15 paralleling The Strip. Here is the obligatory photo of the resort casinos taken by our top model, substituting for our photographer.

Pleasure palaces

As you can see, photo's taken from a moving vehicle on the freeway in a major city can lead to interesting images, the corner of the Luxor's pyramid and the medieval towers of the Excalibur for example. The GPS guided us with unerring accuracy to our first destination where we needed to pick up a gallon of transmission fluid at an Allison Transmission dealer. The coach uses TranSynd synthetic fluid, which is not something that you can run down to the corner auto parts store and buy. At $39.05, it wasn't cheap, but it was also far less than I had read that other people paid.

You mean I have to pay for it?

Our next stop was in Henderson which is on the opposite side of town from where we just were. Had a pleasant surprise, saving some money in more ways than one. We stopped at the Camping World store to buy a Wave 6 heater, the same one I forgot to buy in Junction City last week. We found them on sale, and at a lower cost, even with the sales tax than it would have been if we had bought it in Oregon without the sales tax. The second bonus was the suggestion by the service writer that I just install it myself. It appears to be easy, so we bought a few fittings and hoses for what may be an adventure in plumbing.

Our next stop was at a bead store so Linda could get a few supplies to continue her own adventures, those in beading. This was followed by a wild buying spree at Trader Joe's. They have so many things we really, really love to eat and it was going to be a long time before we could stop at another one. We weren't done shopping yet and in fact had added one store to the list, Home Depot. There we bought what I hoped would be the right fittings to be able to install the heater. There were to many choices and we spent far longer than we should have since we didn't know what we needed. Oh well, sometimes you just have to take a chance. We figured we could take any of the pieces back to some other Home Depot if we didn't need them.

Our last stop was at Sam's Club to get some larger quantities of cheese, no sugar added cocoa and Splenda. Of course that wasn't all be bought, including the package of pork tenderloins than found their way into the cart. On New Years Day they will find their way into our stomach. When we came out of the Sam's Club it was 5:20 and darkness had fallen. We were in the usual strange town, relying on our GPS to get us back the 60 plus miles to Pahrump in the throes of rush hour. Not fun, not easy, not on the freeway, but that was right where it took us. Eventually we were on the far west side of town and making good time. Things tend to work out in the end. Finally the lights of the Pahrump Valley appeared and we were back home. A good day, that wasn't over yet. We had trip after trip to bring everything into the coach, then it all had to be either put away or set aside to be put done in the bays tomorrow. Life in a small house.

Dec 15

Our original plan was to leave Pair-A-Dice tomorrow morning for the wilds of Quartzsite, but that has now changed and Monday will be our travel day. While on the surface it might make more sense to travel on Sunday, what with the Christmas shopping season and all, it would probably be just as congested as a normal work day. We still have some more shopping to do, plus the opportunity to learn more bead techniques may come up. The only bad thing is the weather is supposed to take a turn toward the north pole on Monday, but as Linda so aptly put it, that will just give us a greater reason to install our new wave heater.

Linda went all out again for breakfast, serving up another variation of scrambled eggs and fresh pears. This morning she added reduced fat cheese and chopped onions to the eggs, but the Pi�ce de R�sistance, was what she used for an accompaniment. Yes, there were fresh pears, but I wonder just how many people had a piece of chocolate, almond biscotti with breakfast this morning. Now that's my kind of healthy breakfast.

Health food

The day was very slow in developing and neither of us got much accomplished in the early morning. I dabbled at the webpage and Linda dabbled at Ebay, before she headed off to the park's coffee hour. At the gathering of the girls, Linda did find out Laura and Gordon, the 12 year fulltimers, use a Wave 6 to heat the coach, which made Linda feel like we were doing the right thing in that area. Her enthusiasm regarding the heater was contagious, and soon we were trying to determine the best place to tap into the propane line. The two most common locations people do this is either near the refrigerator or the stove. Because of the layout of the coach, we will be placing the heater much closer to the refrigerator than the stove. Unfortunately the refrigerator is across the aisle from where we want to put the heater. We are going to make it free standing and portable with a quick connect and hence it will be located on the tile across from the refrigerator, meaning if we tapped into the line by the refrigerator the hose would lay right across the path we take to go to the rear of the coach. Nothing is simple.

With that in mind we opened the cover where we could access the utilities under the curbside of the coach. This was the same bay that both the solar installation techs and the Maintenance Session 419 service tech had used, so I knew what it was, and how it opened. The only problem was a broken off screw that had to be removed using a pair of vice-grips. as you can tell, getting the screw out of the pliers gave me more difficultly than removing it from the coach.

Hard work

Inside the coach we also removed the cold air return cover, under the counter next to the sink, which gave us access to the place the propane hose would be passing through the floor of the coach from down below. If you ever wondered what lurks behind that beautiful finish on the inside of a motorhome, here is a glimpse at some of 'the guts' of the beast.

And the knee is connected to the leg bone

When we were finished checking all the possibilities out, the bottom line was that true to my statement of yesterday, "There (Home Depot) we bought what I hoped would be the right fittings to be able to install the heater", I had used the right word, "hope". Unfortunately, reality was quite different and in our ignorance, we didn't do so good. Once again quoting from yesterday's post, "since we didn't know what we needed....sometimes you just have to take a chance." In hindsight we were lucky we didn't bet the farm on that roll of the dice, because we had managed to pick all the wrong fittings. Back to the drawing board, or maybe it was that we should have gone to the drawing board first.

After a quick lunch of turkey wraps and black bean chips, Linda went off to learn the even count flat Peyote stitch, to which I replied, "What?". "I'm going beading", was her reply, which was delivered in a tone that suggested I didn't know the difference between a bead and the hole in the center. I believe that is the beader's way of saying you don't know the difference between your hindquarters and a hole in the ground. Properly chastised, I messed around on the computer for a bit, that drove into town to Floyd's. There are hardware stores and then there are hardware stores. Floyd's is one of the latter. This was where we had bought the items we needed to install the computer and storage shelves when we were here in January.

As far as finding the fittings we needed,let me say they sure did have a lot of fittings. They were also out of inventory on the items I knew I needed. Oh well, like Linda says, things happen for a reason. Maybe everything we need will be at Quartzsite, at least we hope so, otherwise it will mean a trip down to Yuma. Of course we were planning on taking a trip down to Yuma anyway, but that's beside the point. I returned just before Linda did, but the excitement she filled the air with more than offset my disappointing afternoon.


The weather had been unusually warm all day, so we decided to grill turkey burgers for dinner. As always we rubbed those low fat turkey burgers with olive oil and patted in fresh ground salt and pepper, then took a whole wheat english muffin and doused both sides with olive oil. Add a slab of melted low fat cheese, and slices of onion and tomato, and what you get is something that tastes awesome. The secret is the olive oil which adds a great flavor and is healthy to boot. Plated with a tossed salad and southwestern style black beans, it brought back fond memories of our travels through the midwest this past summer.

Great food

The temperature was still in the high 50's after we finished with the dinner dishes, so we decided to go view the neighborhood Christmas decorations. We enjoyed seeing the little trees perched on dashes and tables in the various RV's. A number of people decorated their fence or shed and then, just like in most neighborhoods, there was the one person who out does everyone else.

Decorated motorhome

Under all of those lights was a motorhome. It looked much better standing there looking at it than it did in the photo, so your ever resourceful photographer thought of a way to hold the camera steady. Use Linda for a tripod. The only problem was which part of her body to use. She suggested her shoulder, but remembering the poor photos of the lighthouse which that body part produced, I suggested using her head instead. I set the camera on top of those blond locks and while she froze, snapped what I hoped was the perfect picture. It did turn out to be perfect, a perfect example of how not to take a photo after dark using a tall blond woman as a tripod.

Hairy decorated motorhome

What's that saying about blonds being as dumb as a post, heck even a post wouldn't have a bunch of hair sticking up in front of the camera. I blamed the blond and the blond blamed the bald man. It wasn't an argument I was ever going to win, but if you look through a camera viewfinder into the dark of night, what do you see. Point made. They say the third time is a charm and it looks like it was.

Good photo of decorated motorhome

Our day ended with warm chocolate milk and imitation pecan sandies, but nary a Christmas movie. Each day is different, just as the morrow will be. I wonder what joys it will bring.

Dec 16

What a difference a day can make. This morning carried a pleasant surprise when I walked out into the living area of the coach. Normally the temperature has been in the mid to low 30's, but not this morning. The warmer temperatures we experienced last evening while looking at the Christmas decorations had carried over to this morning.

Warmer weather

It was another breakfast of scrambled eggs and biscotti, something that one could easily get used to having. The biscotti we are eating came from Trader Joe's and is made with both white flour and sugar, two things we try very hard to avoid. I've noticed something unusual the past two days, the fact that I've been hungry between meals, which I attribute to those ingredients. Guess it's time to find a South Beachized biscotti recipe on one of the discussion boards.

Got the daily journal posted early in the day again, I really like that much better than falling behind. It was also laundry day as we are going to be going to the laundromat once we get to Quartzsite as there are no hookups when you are boonbocking in the desert. Actually that wasn't the right way to say it, it should have been, we will be going to laundromat when we are at Quartzsite, but hopefully it will be at least two weeks until we have to. In the early afternoon, just before the College Division III Football National Championship game started on ESPN, Linda decided it was time to go to WalMart. So much for watching the start of the game. Since I'm not into watching sports on TV, I had another reason to watch this game. Mount Union was the closest college to where I grew up and was in the same conference as the college I attended. Mount Union is what you could call a football powerhouse, having been Division III National Champions in 8 of the last 11 seasons. What I like about Division III is that there are no athletic scholarships for any of the players.

After we returned from fighting the crowds of WalMart Christmas shoppers, it was time for both of us to get all teary eyed. Not because we were sad about anything, rather because of what Linda decided our next job would be, making prepared horseradish, a job that was guaranteed to bring tears to our eyes. These were the roots we dug about a month ago and have kept in the refrigerator. While Linda busied herself cleaning the roots and cutting them into smaller pieces, I got out the blender and the white vinegar, then it was grinder time.

That was when the action started, it is one thing to grind horseradish, it is another thing to pour the contents into glass jars. Linda poured, the fumes wafted out of the top of the blender and the tears started rolling down Linda's cheeks, just before she was overcome. Fortunately I grabbed the blender just as she was about to drop it, just one look, that's all it took, just one look (shades of the old song by the Hollies) into the glass blender and I was in the same condition.

Shedding a tear

They may say it is no sense crying over spilled milk, but I'll tell you, you can't help but to cry over spilled horseradish. Linda had retired to the couch in tears, so I tackled the next batch. It was simply amazing that there was no hint of what was to come as I cut the peeled root into smaller pieces and ground them.

Same old grind

Horseradish is a rather interesting condiment, at the website, they have a lot of information on the, "a little goes a long ways", root. Later, after dinner, as is our usual way of spending our evenings at this time of the year, we watched Christmas movies, including "Love's Abiding Joy" on the Hallmark Channel, then had a warm glass of French vanilla chocolate milk and two cookies. A good end to a good day.

Dec 17

I started out yesterdays journal with the comment, "What a difference a day can make." Little did I know when I typed those words, that they would be just as pertinent today as they were yesterday, as something a little different greeted me when I first looked out the coach's window this morning.

Snow flurries

The thermometer may have said it was 36º's outside, but those white streaks in the photo are not dirt streaks on the window. They are snow flurries. Either we had not been paying attention to the forecast, or they were an optical illusion. Somehow or other, the optical illusion theory didn't seem to hold water.

Real snow flurries

Based on this second photo I was convinced it truly was snow, but I needed confirmation. There was only one thing to do and that was wake the still slumbering beast. With trepidation, I took a deep breath and entered the lioness's lair. She lay there, softly roaring, when I, pious petitioner that I was, managed to stumble over a box sticking out from under the bed, making both a loud noise and bouncing the bed when I placed my hand on the covers beside her head to keep from falling on her. All life seemed to pause for several seconds as she stirred, then resumed the soft roar that marked her presence under the lump of covers.

After a deep breath, I realized that the window shades would need to be raised before waking her. Deciding to just bite the bullet, I raised the two shades, unable to tell whether she was laying facing the window or away from it. Light flooded into the room and she stirred. I was relieved to see she was facing away from the beam of light now illuminating the bed. That meant when I finally summoned the courage to wake her, she wouldn't open her eyes and immediately be subjected to a blinding light.

Gently I shook her, she moved, then with a sudden motion, sat bolt upright, asking, "what's wrong?" Not ready for her to be this wide awake, I blurted out, "look outside." Like an zombie she leaned forward and peered out, saying, "it's snowing", then leaned back, rolled over and closed her eyes. Words could not describe my relief. I had both a witness and an unprovoked wife. That's about as neat as it can get, which meant that my near brush with death was simply a figment of my imagination.

Sometime later, after our usual oatmeal breakfast, well I guess not as usual I thought since it's been scrambled eggs the past few mornings, but anyway, the blend of old fashioned thick oatmeal, steel cut oats, wheat bran, dried cherries, raisins and milk sure hit the spot. How true is that saying, variety is the spice of life. Next Linda finished the flat peyote bead bracelet she had been working on. I had to laugh looking at her, glasses off, hunched over the table, squinting in the low light trying to pick up each bead with the needle. Finally she got smart and moved up by the front window of the coach where the light was much better.

Budding beader at work

Beading wasn't the only thing that occupied her time, because she wanted to stock up on baked goods since we would be boonbocking for the next six weeks or so at Quartzsite. Or at least that was what I thought the reason was, then realized we were nearly out of the cookies, so it was baked or no dessert. That didn't fully explain why she baked two different desserts, persimmon cookies and the zucchini chocolate chip cake, until she showed me where the persimmon cookies had been baked every Christmas since 1984. I just hope that is not all the Christmas cookies for this year.

Yum, cookies

Given the choice between the cookies, the cake and the biscotti, all three of which show in this photo, I'll take both the cake and cookies any day, throw in a small glass of port, and it would be the biscotti. Taking a break from her culinary efforts, Linda noticed the spectacular view we were being treated to out the window. Snow covered mountains, billowing clouds, and a Country Coach in the foreground, I think that's about as impressive a view as can be. Wonder what will appear out the window tomorrow at Quartzsite, a place where every type of RV known, and some unknown, are parked.

Room with a view

Linda had one last trick up her sleeve and that was dinner. At Trader Joe's we had bought some chicken sausages, and tonight was her night to fix them. Fine food, candlelight and a beautiful woman sitting next to me, what more could I ever wish for. To really top the meal off, we splashed some of that fresh ground horseradish on top of the sausage plate. It simply doesn't get any better than that. Follow the meal with an evening of Christmas movies and we were as contented as a herd of Carnation cows, and 'udderly' as full.

Good food

It is with some sadness that we will leave Pair-A-Dice Co-Op RV Park tomorrow, having really enjoyed our stay in this little corner of paradise, but our life is lived on the road and the road calls.

Dec 18

"Q" day dawned not with a yawn, but with a blast, a blast of cold air. This is the coldest morning we have experienced so far this winter. Did I say winter, it can't be winter all ready can it. It can't be if you go by the calendar, but if you go by the temperature it sure can be. All this led me into a search for the answer to the question, "When does winter begin?" The definitive answer is, it depends.

What I found was that the date at which each season begins depends on how it is defined. If the astronomical definition of winter is used it is said to begin at the winter solstice, the day the sun is lowest in the sky, which is Dec 21st. Using a meteorological definition would place the start of winter at December 1st, which is in line with informal way many people use three calendar months for each season, i.e., December, January and February for winter. Historically, however the winter season was considered to begin even earlier, on All Hallows Day (Halloween) or November 1st. Of course, if we live in the southern hemisphere, everything I've written so far is wrong, since the seasons are reversed. Then again in the tropics at the equator, do they even have seasons? Like I said, the definitive answer is, it depends.

I'd like to think that if it isn't shirt sleeve weather, it must be winter, hence it is winter now, even if it is a few days early. The thermometer said it was 24º outside, which was quickly confirmed when I went for my early morning trash run. This the coldest morning we have experienced in ages. Heck, it only got this cold once every 5 or 6 years where we used to live, so much for us chasing the warm weather.

Yes, it's cold out there

But even though it was cold, the beauty of nature was all around.

Spectacular scenery

Exactly 11 months ago this morning we awoke to our first day in Quartzsite, it almost seems fitting that we will be arriving back where the adventure started 11 months later. It truly has been a most wonderful experience these past months and though it can't start all over again, it is a rebirth of sorts. Since we are talking of traditions, rebirths and doing things over, we had one last task to do before we could leave, just as we washed the coach last January before we left, we needed to do the same thing this time. While Linda went in town to the Post Office to mail out some Ebay packages and our Christmas cards, they are cards of a different sort this year, post cards, I set about moving the coach over to the wash rack.

Right off the bat I discovered we had problems in Pahrump city, problems that started with "F" and rhymed with geeze, that's geeze as in, "geeze, we've got a big problem, when it's 24º out the hose will definitely freeze." Little did I know that my concern was misplaced. I was worrying about the wash hose being frozen, when I should have worried about the water hose to the coach being frozen. It was after I returned from checking the wash hose that trouble reared it's ugly head. We wanted to arrive in Quartzsite with a full tank of fresh water, so I turned the valve to fill it. Nothing happened, at least there was no sound of rushing water filling the tank. I opened and closed the valve several times without the desired results. Bending close to the tank, I could hear only silence.

This was not a good sign, a fact that was confirmed by the cracking sound I heard when I moved the hose. The hose was frozen, so just how was I to fill the blasted tank. Then it hit me, the hose was in the shade, just a few feet away was sunlight. I unhooked the hose and placed it into the sunlight, then returned to the coach to finish packing. Twice I came out, hooked the hose up and turned on the water, all to no avail. I could see two major problems looming on the horizon. I wasn't going to able to fill the water tank and Linda was going to arrive back at the coach and find out that not only was no water in the tank, but it also wasn't likely to be filled anytime soon. I could live with the first one, I wasn't so sure about the second one.

Obviously I was going to have to solve this problem and do it quickly. Then it dawned on me, I could use the white hose we carry to fill the tank. Got it out, hooked it up, and water was pouring into the tank. That's a, 'Good Bob', if there ever was one. I had one other task, and that was to empty the black and gray tanks. One small problem, the 3" cap on the drain would turn. Looked like this was going to be one of those days. It had unscrewed it with no problem when I had dumped the other day, why not now, but try as I might, it wasn't going to budge. Dug out the big crescent wrench, the same one that has never fit one of these caps before and with the more sense of dread than optimism, tried it. Didn't fit, no how no way. This was not good, that woman was going to back any moment and she sure wouldn't be to happy at my lack of progress. You know, the old, "if didn't do that, just what did you do?", question

Back to the tool boxes I went. All I could think of was the huge Channel-Loc pliers that I hadn't brought along, and how easy they would have made this job. Digging through the tool box I found a pair of adjustable pliers that just might work. Was I ever happy when they did. Removed the cap, pulled out the Sani-Con, and removed the little green cap so I could dump. That was the moment I discovered that I had forgotten something the last time I had dumped, I had forgotten to close the gray water valve. The instant the green cap was off, gray water came pouring our, all over my hand that held the cap, the one directly over the dump hole. Somehow or other I managed to hang onto the cap and direct the flow away from my hand and into the hole. Soon the pump was dumping the black tank and I was inside throughly washing my hands. It all worked out in the end, as I had just finished putting away everything as Linda drove up. Maybe things were going to start going right after all.

We had one last task to do before we pulled out and that was to wash the road grime off the coach. Actually there were two things, the other being to add the TranSynd to the transmission and we decided to add the TranSynd first, before the coach got all wet. That's when I found out the day had not changed for the better, the filler location for the TranSynd, required the use a very long necked funnel to order to fill it, and at $10 a quart I sure wasn't about to spill any. We looked and found we had several funnels, which if we put all their necks together would have still been woefully short. Linda headed off to the WalMart once again, while I got the buckets and soap out. Linda bought the perfect funnel, and then helped with the washing, but still, it was almost 12:30 before we had everything done and finally pulled out of the park. My words to her this morning about how I wasn't in any hurry to leave had not been uttered with this hour in mind.

Wife at work

Last year we had washed the coach, but had left at 10:45, I could see that at this rate in three years we wouldn't be leaving until dinner time. Well they do say that everyone rushes a lot more the first year they are out, then they start to slow down, but this is a little ridiculous. It also wasn't that we were going to be zooming down the highway jiffy quick, since we had to stop for both propane and diesel. We got propane on our way out of Pahrump behind the Shell station at Hwy 160 and Homestead. They were operating at the same speed we had been this morning, so it took a half hour before we finally on the road, but we did have both propane tanks full, a sense of security that sure made Linda happy.

The trip over Mountain Springs summit showed that while we may have gotten flurries in Pahrump, they had a storm up in the mountains. There were still a few vehicles in the ditch from yesterdays storm, but the road was clear and dry. It sure made for some interesting observations.

snowy mountains

It had not been just a snow storm as the snow was actually plastered to vertical surfaces. It was also very easy to tell from which direction the storm had come, just see which side of the poles were white.

sticky snow

Once over the summit and down the mountain, we stopped for diesel and I found my day of trial and tribulation was not over yet. I pulled up to the pump and then right past it. Ended up having to back up a few feet to be where we needed, only to find out the pumps at the diesel islands had the little hoses, not the big fast fill trucker hoses. It took 80 gallons and what seemed like forever to fill the tank. It was only much later, after we crossed the Arizona state line that I remembered we should have only put in 20 or so gallons, because diesel is so much cheaper in Arizona. Like I said it just wasn't my day.

One thing I did do right this year was program in the route to not take us across Hoover Dam, instead we took US-95 south from Henderson, through Searchlight (a genuine A+ speed trap) and then turned east on Rte-163 towards Laughlin, where we caught our last view of the Silver State as we crossed the Colorado River into Arizona and headed towards Kingman.

Don's town

To say that we were a little later than we wanted to be was an understatement if there ever was one. But just think, if there were no hills and valleys, how boring life would be. Past Kingman the sunset was beckoning us on towards Quartzsite, a view that got prettier by the minute.

Following the road to paradise

Darkness followed the sun, but the road lead on to the south, past Lake Havasu City and then Parker. It was while we were stopped at the traffic light in Parker that we got our first glimpse of Quartzsite. You can't see "Q" from Parker, it's another 35 miles down the road, but what we did see was what is at Quartzsite, RV's. For as we waited at that light to turn left, three RV's passed in front of us. Quartzsite was calling the brethren to its fold. The last miles seemingly flew by and of course that also meant we flew by our first stopping point. Hi Jolly came and went, never having been seen by our ever vigilant navigator, and soon we were crossing over I-10 and heading south out of town. The entrance station to the La Posa North LTVA loomed on the left and we turned in. We drove in a ways, pulled off the entrance road and stopped for the night.

We would wait for morning to find "our" spot for the next several months. Emerging from the coach, we were awestruck by the number and intensity of the stars. The desert is such an awesome place and it felt good to be back home, back where it all began and it was exactly 11 months ago tonight, that we spent out first night at this very same LTVA. We can't wait to see what the morrow will bring.

Dec 19

We knew we were at Quartzsite the second we looked out the coach windows this morning, for all we could see was a mass of solar panels.

Buddy, could you spare me a watt?

Not only was that rig just across the way from where we had stopped for the night, that was the same spot we were in last year. So after a breakfast of scrambled eggs (fewer dirty dishes than oatmeal) we set off in search of the perfect place to set up for this year. Linda went up to the entrance station to pay for our permit, while I took a quick walk along the wash to the north. Approximately 780 or so feet away I spied several spots that looked intriguing, then turned around and headed back towards the coach. About that time Linda came walking up and we returned to the spots I was eying. She like one much better than the other, but we also wanted to check out the other side of the wash. We saw a couple of possibilities, but nothing better that the earlier one. After making the loop, we drove down to "Our Place", backed in and set up.

The perfect place to spend the Holiday's

As you can see, it is just a a place in the open desert area. One thing about this desert is that it is not sand, it is gravel, you drive where you want and park where you want. We prefer to be somewhat close to the big tent area, which makes for an easy commute on foot to do any shopping in that area. With all the LTVA and 14 day free areas surrounding Quartzsite, everybody can do their own thing, their own way, in their own place, so to speak. For example, just to the west of us, a couple of thousand feet or so is where the Life on Wheels group sets up and also the Monacoer's, while one of the RV forum groups is a little to the north of them. No one is there now, but in four weeks they will be marking off their areas and setting up.

There are other groups that like to be further away, more by themselves such as the Escapees Boomer group that sets up east of town about 4 miles. Of course there are also all the places right in town that are on private land where you can boondock even closer to the action and if you prefer or need hookup's. There certainly are plenty open spaces in the RV parks at the moment. Right now the La Posa North LTVA area we are at is mostly empty, but just wait until a month from now, it will be one gigantic mass of RV's and dust. If you have a problem with dust then this is not the place for you. But if you have a sense of adventure, or enjoy shopping at flea markets or just love crowds, it doesn't get much better than this.

Since we were going to be here for a while and we would be relying on the solar panels for some of our energy, it was time to climb up on the roof and tilt them towards the sun. We had parked facing a little north of west to maximize the amount of sun they would capture, now it was time raise them to the right angle. We had not used the brackets we had bought with the solar panels, but now was our chance, so while I headed off to the upper reaches of our coach, Linda snapped a photo.

Going to work

It turned out to be surprisingly easy to do, after I cleaned all the crud off the panels. Check out that photo above, look at what I'm carrying, or maybe I should say, what I'm not carrying. Where are the buckets of water and the rags? Not to worry, because on the ground was the other half of our team. Ready and able, but not to willing to bring them up to me, but eventually, she had climbed the ladder with bucket in hand. Her descent was so rapid I barely had time to snap a photo before her feet were once again on dry land. I half expected to see a mangled and mashed ladder where she had clutched it with a death grip. Maybe she was braver than she gave the appearance of being.

No mountain climber here

While up on the roof I took a couple of photo's to give some idea of the number of other RV's around where we are parked. With luck I will remember to take a set of the same shots once a week from now through the end of January to give an idea of the ebb and flow of the crowds. Here is one taken almost due south, with the 5th wheel of Ron and Terry of the Hitchitch website in the center. It's a big place and the RV's appear to be very tiny, so there is an arrow to guide you.

Looking south

This one is looking towards the northeast and the other side of the wash. Last year this area was fairly vacant until the week of the big show in late January. We shall see if I have included enough land marks to take the same two shots the next time, which hopefully will be next Tuesday. Obviously some people spend their Holidays in Quartzsite.

Looking northeast

We've been so laid back and easy going for the past 11 months, that I forgot what it was like to be on top of what was happening. I do believe the laid back way is the only way, after having finally taken that road of life. Linda on the other hand was once again pushing me to climb the ladder of success found in the work day world. It wasn't long before I was doing her bidding once again, after all it was her pushing those many years ago that got us here in the first place, because without her, I'm not sure what purpose I would have. As you can see, this ladder of success wasn't very high, but it was very fulfilling.

The ladder of success

Isn't it wonderful how we can all reach the heights we aspire to and for me that is now just high enough to clean the windows on the coach. The saying, all work and no play, may apply to me today, but it sure doesn't to Linda. That is one really relaxed lady.

Queen surveying her realm

We were amazed at the difference a month can make, last year when we were here during the Big Show, this lot was wall to wall RV's, today it is completely vacant.

Where are they at?

The remainder of the day was uneventful, except for when we let the batteries run down to much before we started the generator, but if we didn't do things like that, then the saying, 'live and learn' would have no meaning. The best thing about running the generator in the evening? A nice warm bed to crawl into thanks to our electric blanket. Life truly is good and it's at times like this that my thoughts oftentimes turn to my Dad, for you see, he is the reason we are here. This month he would have been 87 if he were still alive, unfortunately he died before he reached retirement age. That was what played in my mind as I closed in on the same age he was when he died. That is also why we are where we are today. I decided to simply quit work and enjoy life, something he never got to do. Thanks for the wonderful life, Dad.

Dec 20

One thing for sure about the desert, it can get cold at night. Of course when the sun comes up it doesn't immediately become the tropics either. While Linda's sister was enjoying 70° weather this morning as she was snowbirding in her RV in Florida, this is what we woke to in the Arizona desert.

There's a chill in the air

The cold did not deter Linda in the least. Buried under two blankets and the comforter, she slept snug as the proverbial bug in a rug until I turned on the furnace and warmed the coach up. In a harbinger of things to come, I set the thermostat too high and soon was hearing comments about it being too hot. Backing up for just a second, I had open the windows earlier to let the sun in and was surprised at just how soon the temperature started going up from my solar heating efforts. We only had to run the furnace that one time, as the sun kept the inside of the coach warm the entire rest of the day, with the temperature in the coach climbing to 88° later in the afternoon. If I can remember I'll try to get a documentary photo tomorrow afternoon.

There is one activity that is repeated wherever RVer's congregate. It is that early morning parade of the little white bags.

Trashing the place

We finally decided it was time to follow the masses and head off to the great yellow boxes ourselves, so we walked up the wheel paths, following the same route we took so many times last year. As we walked Linda noticed one coach that was here last year, the one that had it's front window chock full of stuffed bright yellow Tweety Birds. We did miss the the circle of Safari RV's from Montana. The group that sat around all day in shorts and tee shirts, no matter how cold it got. I remember our discussion last year about whether people from Montana were tough or just crazy, wonder if they will be back this year.

Having always been a person that is not into doing the same thing over and over, we took a different route back to the coach, walking down the wash. It is similar to walking through everyone's backyard and gives you the low down on what life is really like boonbocking in the desert. After all, does the typical urban or suburban backyard have the same neat, well groomed appearance the front yard does. In the country, just exactly what might you find laying out behind the barn. In Quartzsite terms, that was where we were walking, out behind the barn.

Besides what you see of the people and their things, you also get to see the interesting things that nature has placed in and along the wash. The way the gravel is laid down, the different levels at which the water obviously flows, how the water must have created an impromptu dam, then changed its course to bypass what it had just created. The brush and trees, the jagged thorns on some, the pretty flowers on others, all in all it made for a wonderful and relaxing walk.

While all this was taking place down on the ground, the sky added a little something extra to life in the desert.

Look, up in the sky, it's....

That, however, turned out to be the last good thing for awhile, because soon we were involved in one of those projects that seems to head in only one direction, the wrong one. By mid afternoon Linda was getting concerned that we weren't going to get the Wave heater installed today, and because warmth was something she desired, it became her personal mission to see the task accomplished. The old, "you are going to do it, aren't you dear", approach. We made up a list of the fittings we had, so we would know what we needed to make the proper connections and then estimated the lengths of hoses we needed. All that in hand, we headed off to 'The Pit Stop' to have what we needed made.

If you are going to a place by that name, 'The Pit Stop', you have an idea of what they do. They empty waste tanks and the fill fresh water and propane tanks. They are also very busy, what with the jump in visitors at this time of the year. Very busy equates to hurrying everything. Very busy means, how can I help, sorry, I'll be right back, let's see where were we, no that's not what I needed, that's what he needed. You get the picture. Now couple this chaotic situation with the fact I wrote down what we had, not what we needed and you can guess what happened. Oh ya, also throw in the fact they were out of some of the fittings needed to do it the simple way, so we were making changes on the fly and you can guess what we discovered when we returned to the coach.

I must also be forthright and state that Linda said we should take along the fittings we had to show them, while I said that what I had written down would be enough. It was that old male ego thing getting in the way of female common sense, big time. But then again, I'm still young, so maybe in not too many years I'll learn. Think this is called stalling, as in not wanting to admit just how bad it was, lol.

Starting at the beginning, I had not opened up the access to the basement compartment in order to measure just exactly how much hose we needed to run from the basement up to the top. I did take the tape measure and very roughly estimate how much, plus we knew from the last time we tried that 5' was just a little too short, so we added two more feet, thinking 7' would be more than enough. It wasn't, we needed 8', but that wasn't all that was wrong. They were out of elbows so I had to buy a tee instead, only problem was, I needed another nipple for the third side of the Tee, something I forgot to buy. Now for the good part, or maybe I should say bad parts.

Not content with just making mistakes on the length of the hose and the fitting for the tee, yours truly also managed to have them put the wrong type of end on one end of each of the two hose I had them make up. When it rains, it not only pours, in the desert it can be a cloudburst. One had a female flare fitting when it needed to be a female pipe thread fitting. The other also had a female flare fitting, but it needed to be a male pipe thread. Looking at he bright side, at least they were the right size, even if the wrong type. At least I did something right. Linda figured out right off the bat that I was just a tad bummed out by what had happened. It was getting late and so we had our peanuts, then I just sat for a while not wanting to do anything. The way the day was going, it's a wonder I didn't mess that up too. Most day's you trap the alligator, then wear alligator shoes, but every once in a while, the alligator bites you {editor's comment-I think he lost a hand to that alligator}, today was one of those days.

We still had to fix dinner, and as could be expected after what had taken place today, it was about as good as it could get, the worm had turned. Grilled hamburgers, real 7% fat beef burgers, tossed salad and couscous that came together just right.

Right on

That the corner had been turned was also appearent when we did a lot better in the energy management department, running the generator for an hour and fifteen minutes to top off the batteries and warm up the electric blanket. Our day ended with a glass of warm chocolate milk and a piece of zucchini chocolate chip cake. All in all it was a good day, it just didn't seem that way at times, lol.

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