Fulltime Roadrunners

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

Good News

July 24th, 2015

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The storm I posted about last time ended up leaving us 1.25” of rain.  We’ve had a total of about 2.5” for the year. Phoenix says they have another monsoon on the way this weekend, but we’re just getting hotter temps.Thom is still in the process of getting all his cardiology evaluations. After wearing the heart monitor for 10 days, it was only able to record 18 hours of activity (due to our living off grid) and those hours showed nothing unusual. When he was it Yuma for the consult with the cardiologist in Tucson the cardiologist decided to have him hooked up to a monitor and he had an episode like those that brought all this testing on.  He said she (cardiologist) said something about cluster beats.  Thom has an appointment with a cardiologist in Quartzsite to get the echo cardiogram on Aug. 6th. Hopefully that will determine what’s going on and what to do.

A month or so ago we bought an infrared turkey fryer (no oil required). I’ve cooked a boneless pork loin roast (a bit tough), chicken legs (absolutely yummy), 10 lb. bone-in pork roast (to die for… moist, tender, fall apart pork, tremendous chicharoni from the skin and lots of leftover for pulled pork sandwiches). To top it off, I have a lovely pork bone in the freezer with enough meat to make a great winter soup in a few months. Last night I did rack of pork ribs. Here’s a shot of the ribs just before I put them in the cooker, and then a shot of the “fryer”. They came out with a crisp crust, moist meat and tender also. YUM!

If it hadn’t been pretty breezy, the mesh lid wouldn’t have been on it.

Today I walked down to the inlet to see if the carp were close to the bank like they tend to be this time of the year. I not only got pics of the carp, but got a bonus of 2 dragonflies and 1 damsel. The carp were about 10” long… they get up to 3 ft..

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This first shot is the Black Saddlebags Dragonfly, the second is a new one for my life list, a female Red Saddlebags, and the last is a male American Ruby-spot Damselfly.

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To top off the photos. I have a young Black Phoebe that hangs out in the Screw bean Mesquite tree at the end of the ramp (hunting insects). I got a decent shot of him this morning.

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Thom got a notice that he has to show up for grand jury duty on Aug. 5th. He has to go all the way to Parker, which is 93 miles away. At least he gets paid mileage and daily stipend.

It looks like all the hustle and bustle of getting power resolved and medical appointments is slowing down, so now I can get back to feeling creative and getting a hummingbird going. I don’t have many orders so it will be nice to take my time.

Ya’ll stay happy and healthy.

Tah!

Ups ‘n Downs

July 19th, 2015

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The temperatures are going up and down, humidity is going up and down, my energy level is going up and down, and my patience is rising and falling as well.

When I see the high temp for a day is going to be under 105° I feel a sense of relief. Unfortunately when I get out of bed on that morning and go outside to turn off the propane generator, it’s already over 80° with a humidity of about 80% (this is usually a little before 6 a.m.). Luckily, unless a storm is predicted, as the temp rises the humidity drops. It rarely gets below 40%, but that’s better than 80% or even 60% when the temp is above 100°.

We had a big storm predicted for this weekend with high winds, heavy rain, and flash flooding. The predicted storm and flash flooding pretty much kept people away from the campground and boat ramp. When there is a high probability of flooding, the Bureau of Reclamation tends to run the river’s water level low, so it can handle the flooding waters coming into it. We didn’t get any of that. Yesterday we got all of 0.02” of rain and that’s all for the whole “big storm”. Oh well, maybe next one.

The humidity lately is really sapping my energy making it more difficult for me to be patient with those of our guests who are less than endearing. We’re lucky most of these annoying people are only here to launch their boats and park their vehicles while they go play on the river. If they were campers I don’t know how long I could tolerate the brats.

Our thoughtful guests totally outweigh the prima donnas though. We have one couple who live in San Diego and come out here regularly to launch their boat. They have a summer house in Palo Verde, just 3 miles from the campground. Yesterday afternoon they showed up with a very special “hug” for us. I think back in my son’s high school days this kind of thing would be called a Warm Fuzzy.

This was particularly special to me because it brought back many wonderful memories of my teen years. Julian, CA was a real treat to visit back then. I don’t think it’s changed much since then. The last time I was there was 50 years ago. This particular pie company wasn’t open then, but there were a couple of cafes that served the best homemade fruit pies ever. This Boysenberry Apple Crumb pie is to die for! Alice, if you happen to read this, thank you so much. You and Jeff are truly special people.

Remember the photo of the Cicada I posted last time I blogged? I suspect it was a male because it was just sitting there making noise. The males don’t eat because all their energy while developing was put into growing noise making body parts.  The female does eat.  They eat water heavy sap. Mesquite trees are known for their sweet sap and sweet seed pods, which is why it is so totally noisy this time of year in the many mesquites we have in the yard. The mesquite trees also have thin bark so it’s easy to get to the sap.  Here is a female sucking sap from one of our Velvet Mesquite trees. You can see under her leg the proboscis stuck in the tree.

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This is what happens after she is done eating. Amber in the making. Wonder if I put some in the fridge, it would stay cool enough to eventually turn into the gem (a few hundred years from now).

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I just have to share this pic of some sap because I just think it’s cool. When I gently touched the drop it swung back and forth like a pendulum.

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We still don’t have shore power or the diesel generator so poor Thom is still playing musical generators with our power cords.  Our 10K generator is back in the shop. It appears the voltage regulator has gone out. When we first start the generator, plug the house into it and then turn on the big a/c the meter goes OFF the CHART. It only took 1 time to learn to turn on the portable a/c first, then the little one on the RV, and then the big a/c.  This wasn’t a situation we want to live with though because we didn’t need to destroy another something in the RV so it went back to the shop and we have no idea when we’ll get it back.

Such is life when it’s off the grid.

Oh m’gosh, ya’ll won’t believe this!

This is what I get for complaining about no rain.  In less than 1/2 hour we have received 0.81 inches and it’s still pouring down.

Okay, 45 minutes later and it’s pretty much done. In about 45 minutes we got 1.13” of rain. Our little concrete pad the RV is on is surrounded by a huge puddle of water.

Thom spent most of the day today going back and forth to Blythe to get enough water to go through the process of “shocking” our fresh water tank. It had developed an algae bloom. It’s done, the tank is clean and our water is good for the next few weeks. During the summer it’s a never ending battle to keep our water tanks potable. If the BLM’s plans ever come to fruition this would be paradise on earth for the hosts.

It appears we have reconnected to the internet so I can now upload this to the web. Then I’m going to pour myself a drink and sit back and chill!

Ya’ll stay healthy ‘n happy!

Toodles.

Summer’s Challenge

July 3rd, 2015

It can be a real challenge living in an RV alongside a river in the Sonoran Desert during the summer. We get the scorching heat of the desert and because of the heat the clinging humidity from the river. An RV is less capable of mitigating the heat and humidity than a stick home would be. Last weekend we had temps of 110°+ and humidity ranging from 35% – 55%. Those numbers give us a heat index of over 120°.  There are days I think I’d rather hop in the car and find a nice cool motel room with a huge selection of free movies, and has free WIFI and room service. But knowing me, I’d last about 3 days before I yearned to be back in my RV in the campground with all the wildlife and beauty. I keep reminding myself summer is only 3 1/2 months long and then we get 8 1/2 months of lovely weather, give or take a few days.

It’s monsoon season now and we did get a thunderstorm last Wednesday. It gave us 0.03” of rain, lots of fun thunder and lightning, and it cooled us down a little bit.  On Wed. the hi temp was 105° and the humidity was 85%. Not real comfortable.  Right now the temp is 107° (it’s cloudy) but the weather station says the heat index is 123°, with a humidity of 40%.

We’ve been having to run the propane generator a lot more this week due to the cloudy weather. I let our supervisor know Tuesday we were down to 30% in the propane tank and he ordered a delivery that same day. Today is Friday and it hasn’t been delivered yet. We are down to only 5% so we can’t run the propane genny. We are now keeping the house cool with our own super noisy 10K Duramax genny until the propane arrives whenever.

Last year we had Apache Cicada’s in the campground the first week of July and this year they are back.  I think they are kinda pretty with their markings and long lacy wings. At the bottom of the section with the white line across the top is what looks like “eyes”. I think that’s the part it vibrates to make that continuous loud cicada noise.

(Remember, when you click on a photo it opens full size in a new window, just close that window to come back to the blog).

We are getting some business from the Hippy Hole. The mosquitoes are twice as bad over there as they are here so a lot of people are paying the fee to launch here. We even have a couple of campers that moved over here from there due to the mosquitoes. I just hope they aren’t big partiers who get louder as the night goes on.

I now have 5 beaded hummingbirds in inventory. Actually, I am only considering 3 of them as inventory. I want to keep the Raven and the last Jacobin I did which is more true to the real birds colors. Here is a couple of pics of the newest White-necked Jacobin and a Rufous Hummingbird I finished a couple of days ago.

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I’m giving myself until after the 15th to just create, then I’ll get back to taking orders and filling them. I’ve already got 8 orders to start on after the 15th. The next one I’m doing because I love purple is another Costa’s for inventory and then I have some “different” colors I want to play with. Not sure what kind of bird it’ll be, but I’m hoping it turns out interesting.

As is pretty obvious, most of my thoughts this time of the year are weather related and I’ve already bored you to tears with those, so I’m going to close this and get my month end reports sent off and get a big ol’ pork roast out of the freezer to thaw for the slow cooker tomorrow. I can almost taste that pulled pork sandwich for 4th of July dinner.

Ya’ll stay healthy and happy.

Toodles.