Fulltime Roadrunners

Fulltime Roadrunners
Staying Put at BLM Oxbow Campground on the Colorado River, Cibola, AZ

That ‘n This

July 28th, 2013

I use This ‘n That all the time for my post titles so I decided to change it up a bit.  Winking smile

Things are going well.  Just minor hiccups here and there.  Last Monday my Dr. said my ear is getting better slowly.  She could see a small circle of my eardrum where the week before it was totally inflamed and full of puss.  She said it would take about 3 weeks to get completely well so I won’t be seeing her again until the middle of August.  In the meantime her receptionist is scheduling all those “welcome to Medicare” tests for Aug. 12th and/or 13th.

The hiccup that had me most worried was last Sunday when it rained pretty good.  We ended up with water soaking the carpet at the kitchen/entertainment center slide.  We had Al’s RV come out to look it over.  Luckily it was just a piece of metal molding that had come loose causing the rain to funnel under the slide and into the rig.  Easy fix and if it happens again Thom will be able to fix it.

Our anemometer (wind speed instrument) on the weather station has quit working.  Something is keeping it from spinning.  I’ve emailed the company and hope I hear back from them tomorrow.  It’s under warranty, so hopefully they will either replace or repair it.  In the meantime the weather station still works for everything else.  Of course without the wind speed reading the heat index isn’t accurate.  I’ll let ya’ll know if WeatherWise is a decent company to deal with when problems occur.

Another li’l hiccup out here on the lake was one of our regular guest’s boat sunk last Saturday (not yesterday).  He had 9 people on it and one of them was pretty heavy.  His heavy friend went up front to sit with his girlfriend and even though there was too much weight up front the boat owner decided not to say anything because he didn’t want to insult or hurt his friend.  The boat was pulling a tube and turned back into the wake from the boat.  He figured it would splash a bit but not too bad.  It was the 2nd wake that swamped the boat and sunk it.  Luckily everybody got off the boat okay, included the little kids.  Everyone had a life jacket on.  We’ve been lightly entertained every since then.  The owner has friends who work with Border Patrol Rescue so when he mentioned the sunk boat to his friends, the team leader decided it would be a good training exercise to try to locate the boat, dive for it and try to bring it up with floatation device.  Unfortunately they didn’t find the boat.  This was on Wed.  Thursday he had friends who are divers try to find it.  On Wednesday we had a pontoon boat out on the lake and when he found out they were trying to find a boat, he said his fish finder “saw” a blob that he’d swear was a boat.  The pontoon boat is back this evening and is trying to find it again and he will record the GPS coordinates. 

Thom and I have been hanging out down by the boat ramp watching the boat hunt with the hopes we can watch it being brought up.  If it happens and if I get pics, I’ll share them.

We bought a bread maker online and it was supposed to arrive here yesterday.  We went shopping on Wednesday and bought bread because we were out of bread and didn’t want to wait 4 days to have bread in the house.  The bread maker arrived on Thursday and I’m dying to try it out, but we still have some of the store bought.  I’m gonna make bread tomorrow anyway.  Can’t wait any longer.

Thom and I are starting to get tired of the heat.  Only a month of the higher temps to go.  Today it got up to 110° but the humidity was low so it wasn’t too very uncomfortable.  Thursday it only got to 108° but the humidity was relatively high and pretty durned uncomfortable.  We still love it here and don’t want to leave, even for the winter.  It’s frustrating to know we won’t know what will happen until mid September or later.

That’s about all the news and thoughts for now.

Ya’ll stay healthy ‘n happy!

Toodles.

Another Catch-up

July 20th, 2013

Went to the Dr. last Monday.  Because I qualify for Medicare now, I’m entitled to what the Dr. calls “welcome to Medicare check-ups”, a one time only thing when you first sign up with Medicare.  Looks like I’ll be having all kinds of tests… sonogram on the tummy checking for aneurisms, diabetes blood work, general blood work, colonoscopy, and a few others.  Because I’m diabetic, I even get a thorough eye exam fully covered by Medicare.

When she checked my plugged, achy ear, she was astounded I wasn’t writhing in pain it had such a severe infection.  She decided to get me going on a program to heal the ear before scheduling anything else.  I’m now taking Velaquin which scares the hell outta me.  It can cause Achilles Tendon separation, especially in people over 60, it can cause elevated or lowered blood sugar to dangerous levels, as well as a few other possible dangerous side effects.  I go back to the Dr. on Monday to see how my ear is doing and I’m going to question her choice of antibiotic then.  I think the  ear is doing better… only because it itches like crazy and the gremlins stabbing me seem to be disappearing slowly.  My ear is still plugged which is kind of scary.  I count on my hearing for bird location and identification, as well as other critters, I’d hate to lose that.  After the ear is cleared up we’ll start on the battery of tests.  This is another reason I’d just as soon be here for the winter than have to move back to Quartzsite and have to drive 75 miles every time I have an appointment.

We had our first really good rain today.  Early this morning there was thunder and lightning along with the rain then it settled into a nice steady gentle rain, allowing the water to soak into the ground rather than run off.  We got a little over 1/4” of rain then it stopped and stayed cloudy and humid for most of the day.  The humidity was quite stifling when the air was still, but this afternoon we got a breeze of between 5 and 10 mph which really helped drop the heat index.  Right now at 8:00 p.m. it’s 95° with a heat index of 104° and dropping.  This morning it was cool enough the A/C’s shut down for a bit… 76°.  Tonight there is a 30% chance of rain after 11:00 and 20% chance tomorrow.  The high tomorrow is only supposed to get up to 94°.  We’ve learned that for NOAA forecast for this area is at least 3° lower than what we actually get.  Today was forecasted to be 99 and it got up to 103.

Most of the people we see come in here are now “regulars” so it’s much easier to talk to them and deal with them.  We know which one’s might mean trouble and and which ones we thank at the end of the day for being so well behaved and for cleaning up very nicely after themselves.  We still have some oddballs as well as those who actually frighten me, but they are rare and when they do show up I instantly call either our Law Enforcement Officers or when they aren’t available, our supervisor, Bill, just to alert them that we’re not comfortable with these people and we’d appreciate them being available if we need them.

One of the reasons Thom and I live the way we live and do the things we do is because we thrive on new experiences.  This summer has been a challenging experience for us that we have thoroughly enjoyed so far.  We have surprised ourselves in being able to get through the heat of southwest Arizona, and the humidity, in relative comfort.  Of course, we have yet to experience our first real monsoon rain, but with me being a lover of rain, I expect we’ll do just fine.  I love the rain and Thom’s body is quite heat tolerant.  July is supposed to be the hottest month of the year here and we’re 2/3rds through it, so I think we’ve probably gotten through the worst (maybe).

Two days ago the air was so still the lake was like a mirror.  The early morning light made our view so gorgeous I just had to take, yet, another photo of it.
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It’s about my bedtime so I’m gonna say g’nite.

Ya’ll stay healthy ‘n happy!

Tah.

 

A Day From Hell

July 14th, 2013

Last Friday, in the morning around 9:30, we both noticed a burning electrical smell, followed by the sound of pouring water.  Thom jumped up and quickly flipped all the breakers off on the panel.  The sound and smell was coming from the compartment where our water pump, grey water tank and water heater are.  Of course the water caused the smell, but we didn’t hear it until after we caught the smell.

We went outside to see what was going on.  Upon opening the compartment door we found that the extreme heat had made the water filter container brittle and it broke, running water all over in the compartment.  It had shorted a two plug 20 amp outlet the super intelligent designers decided to mount on a piece of plywood right under the water pipes and filters.  They decided that since they already had power to the water heater there they’d pull the line from the water heater to this outlet.  We sopped up as much water as possible then got a 12 volt fan running to help dry the compartment.  We also got our 110 fan connected direct to the power at the pole.

So there we were with all power to the trailer turned off.  It’s already almost 100° outside, predicted to get up to over 105°.  We didn’t want to flip the breakers back on until we got the compartment dryer so we were without any a/c for about 1 hour, then we decided to plug the portable a/c in the 30 amp outlet at the pole and managed to keep the RV temp down to the high 80’s.  We finally felt it was safe to start turning the breakers back on one by one.  When we got to the water heater breaker that 20 amp outlet instantly started smoking.  Until that time we didn’t know the source of the short.  The RV was pretty uncomfortable for about 3 1/2 hrs. 

We’ve had the water heater turned off since Friday.  We can use it now, but I’m not at all comfortable with it, so it goes off as soon as I’m done doing dishes.  The DT RV tech told Thom to take the outlet off the plywood and disconnect it from the water heater.  Until that gets done, we’re being very careful and very aware.

Yesterday was a comfortably busy day out here.  Today isn’t as busy but we’re dealing with some real rude and annoying people.  I would have loved to invite one group to leave immediately, but that’s not my right and we have no rangers or law enforcement officers on duty today.

One more whine for the day then I’m going to share a couple of pics… the weather forecast for the day said a high of 106°, but it is now 113.5°.  We had a thunderstorm with rain this morning.  We got 0.14” within 15 minutes.  It’s been pretty humid all day.  Only 30% now but at 113° it feels pretty yucky.

On to the photos!  Remember, you can click on the photo and it will open full size in a new window.  Just close that window to come back to the blog.

I got lucky a couple of days ago and had two different kinds of male Orioles in my tree at one time.  I want to show ya’ll the difference between the two.  This first one is the Hooded Oriole who visits here quite often.  He has no black on the top of his head.
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This one is the Bullocks Oriole.  Note the black on his head.  He only showed up here 3 days ago.
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As you can see in the tree in front of the Bullocks Oriole there is a grape.  I’ve started putting grapes on the twigs in the tree and the Orioles, Verdin and even House Finch come eat them.  I just now, for the first time saw an Abert’s Towhee eating one of the grapes.  Cool.

A couple of days ago I was out around 6:00 p.m. checking the permit on a car and saw a Lessor Nighthawk hunting over the boat ramp and that end of the compound.  I radioed Thom and he kindly brought my camera to me.  I didn’t get any great shots, barely even good, but you can at least tell this bird is definitely a Lessor Nighthawk.
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Last picture for the day.  This is a Desert Spiny Lizard that lives in the wood pile under our tree.  I think it’s a pretty thing.  You can tell by it’s girth that there is no lack of bugs here.
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Ya’ll stay healthy and happy!

Toodles.

Last Few Days

July 10th, 2013

It’s still feeling pretty warm here with yesterday being the first time since June 27th the high temp has been below 110°.  Yesterday the high was 105° and today only 103°, but both days were pretty humid – above 50% in the mornings and around 40% the rest of the day.  Today and tomorrow there is a chance of thunder showers, 20% today and 30% tonight and tomorrow.  Hope it happens.

Last weekend was our 2nd busiest since we’ve been here.  We had 47 vehicles on Sat. and 23 on Sunday.  With the temps above 110° both days we really had to pace ourselves.  We alternated going out to help the people as they arrived.  Here’s a shot of people enjoying the lake.  That spot across the lake is a preferred site for camping but they have to be careful of rising water.  We’ve had reports of people’s things floating out into the lake overnight.
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Day before yesterday was our anniversary.  I cooked up a large pork shoulder in the crockpot.  I would have done it in the BBQ but it’s not working properly.  I guess we need to replace it.  We’ve been shopping around for a larger BBQ the last month or so.  We’re not sure we want to buy the bigger one if we’re not going to be here for a year or more, but I’m about to the point where I push to buy one now and we’ll just make an extra trip if we have to move to Quartzsite this winter.  At least Thom loves the pork roast cooked in the crockpot.

I’m learning to use my convection oven for cooking.  I wish I could use my RV stove ‘n oven but we are trying not to have to buy propane.  The electricity is free, the gas isn’t.  I can’t use my toaster oven for any lengthy cooking because it draws too much electricity and with both a/c’s running and the TV (Thom has become a couch potato) going we find we are maxing out on the draw on power.  The bedroom a/c is still throwing the breaker switch now and then, but we’ve learned to keep the breaker door open with a fan running on it so it only goes out when the temps are really hot.  We’ve not gone without a/c for longer than about 5 minutes so far. 

If I had that new BBQ I could cook most everything outside and not have to worry about the power.  Of course, we’d be buying propane for the BBQ but it takes a whole lot less than the oven.

The other day I had two new “visitors” to our compound.  The first one was a Red Velvet Ant, also called a Cow Killer.  They have an intensely painful sting which is rumored to be strong enough to kill a cow, thus the nickname “Cow Killer”.  Once again, if it sports red give it a wide berth.  The male sports red, but has no stinger.  It is actually a wasp, but is called an ant because the female has no wings.  It’s about an inch long.  The females are bigger than the males.  They trundle around looking for bee burrows in the ground to lay their egg in.  It’s larvae eats the larvae of the bee.  In the eastern states they show more red with red stripes or patches on the thorax.
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The second visitor was a Yellow-headed Blackbird.  We’ve seen them before in Utah but never in my yard dining.  I’m guessing that like other blackbirds it eats both seed and bugs.  He sure is a pretty guy.
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We haven’t seen Bill, our supervisor, for a month.  He’s the one who picks up the Iron Ranger (where money envelopes are dropped) and ours is getting pretty full.  If we have another weekend like last I’m not sure we’ll be able to fit all the envelopes in it.  We’ve been told he’s back in town, but he hasn’t contacted us yet.

Now that I have Medicare and supplemental insurance I’m going to use it.  I have an appointment for Monday for my well patient check-up.  Medicare pays in full for well patient, diabetes, check-ups as well as mammograms, and a few others.  The Dr. I’m going to see is a 62 y/o Doctor of Osteopathy who as well as regular medical care, does alternative medicine.  I’ve always preferred DO’s over MD’s because they do whole body medicine instead of just treating the tummy for a tummy complaint or stress or sinuses for a headache, etc..

I’ll post again soon.  We’re going to Yuma to shop tomorrow, there’s usually something new along the way to report.

Ya’ll stay healthy ‘n happy!

Tah!

 

In a Groove

July 6th, 2013

We’re doing, what we think, is quite well living and working in the heat of Southern Arizona.  When physical work needs to be done, we get out early and do it.  We pace ourselves in the heat.  I’ve learned to grab the keys to my trike if I need to go down to the boat ramp and/or do rounds in the compound when the temps are above 110°.  I’ll still be in the heat with the wind in my face from the speed of the trike feeling like a blast furnace, but the trike means I’m in the heat for a shorter period of time.  We’re actually doing a lot better than I expected and at this point I’m sure I can do and even want to do a year-round stint here.  I guess this isn’t something a lady would admit to, but I never said I was a lady… I sweat more than Thom and after 10 or 15 minutes out in temps above 105° my hair is wet and my forehead is dripping, but Thom is only wet on his chest and back.  I used to hate, really, really HATE sweating like this.  Now I just figure I’ll get cool faster with the cool air from the A/C blowing on me when I finally get back indoors.

Today was a super busy day.  On the 4th we had 17 vehicles/boats come in.  Today we had 17 boats or jetskis and 30 cars with people to go join the boats or go swim on the beach.  That’s 47 vehicles we had to make sure had permits.  Many time there would be 2 or 3 vehicles at a time so we probably actually ended up outside 20 to 30 times today.  The high temp got to 112°.

Yesterday there was an accident on Squaw Lake… Two boats ran into each other.  We watched 2 large fire trucks, 2 paramedic fire trucks, two ambulances, and 1 Law Enforcement Officer go down to Squaw Lake.  I checked out the local newspaper online and the local TV news online, didn’t learn much other than 2 people were transported to the hospital and 1 person refused transport.

We’ve been here long enough now that we look forward to seeing certain people and cringe when we see other people come in.  I guess it breaks down to the polite and tidy people vs. the rowdy and sloppy people.  This afternoon after everybody left I took Willow down to the beach and found watermelon rind, coconut shells, aluminum cans, bottle caps, pop tabs, etc… in abundance.

The last 3 days or so have been cloudy and humid.  Along with the heat, that can be a bit uncomfortable but as the day goes on the humidity goes down so by the time we reach the high temp, the humidity is down to 25 or 30%. 

The clouds make for poor photography so I’ve not got a lot to share with ya’ll this week.  If you are interested in seeing what I think is a gorgeous cricket or an interesting carpenter bee, let me know.

Now that my Medicare has kicked in (July 1) I need to find a Doctor and make appointments to find out how bad my blood sugar numbers, blood pressure numbers and all that are now.  I’ve been without insurance for a year and need to make sure everything is still okay.  I’ve been monitoring things myself, but sometimes the Dr’s. equipment differ from mine.

It looks like I’m rambling again.  I’ll say g’nite for now and share any new news when it happens.

Ya’ll stay healthy ‘n happy!

Toodles.