Friday, March 31, 2017

Gettin' naked...

There is a difference between "naked" and "nekkid"... naked means you have no clothes on; nekkid means you have no clothes on and you're up to something.  Today, we were up to something.

Fully attired, however.

Joan suggested breakfast out before we set about getting our RV site stuff packed away so we are ready to roll in the morning...

That is a "naked" RV site.  Oh, there is more to it than just putting away chairs... the e-bikes come off the back of the coach, get folded and go into the CR-V.  The heavy-duty bike rack comes off the back of the coach, gets folded up and goes into the cargo trailer.  The patio mat that has been down for a couple months gets unstaked, shake the sand and grit out of it, and into the trailer it goes.  All the other odds and ends get put away.  The windshield cover gets wiped down and comes off.  In fact, it was an ugly, windy day yesterday, making for a lot of blowing sand in the air - so everything needs to get wiped down before being put away.  (Steph says that it my fault because I washed the coach on Wednesday.)  All the tires get checked and aired up as needed... and that is a bunch of tires.  Towing stuff lubed and prepped.

Little Izzy got one last walk; she looked a bit confused when stepping outside - "Where'd everything go?"  It is still pretty breezy, so it wasn't a long walk.

After we spruce up, it will be dinner with the kids, hugs and good-byes (the good-byes are my least favorite about the departure), then... hopefully a good night's sleep.  Tomorrow morning, we'll clean up, unhook utilities, hook the cargo trailer behind the coach, and hit the road.  Separately.  Until we get out of Arizona and can double tow again.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

I don't think we've changed a bit...

In regards to getting together with Mark and Cindy last night...

A mere 40 years or so ago.  Wait - that can't be right.  Let's see... carry the 1... divide by the square root of Pi... yeah, plus or minus 3 or 4 years.


Some things really don't change...

Scoots are in their chocks and strapped down.  When we are ready, there will be a few more patio things that will go in there, but the departure process is underway.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Making some music...

We had supper tonight with friends Mark and Cindy.  Afterwards, we came back to our RV park... gave them the whole nickel tour of the Aspect.  Izzy got shown off a bit.  Then, time to break out the guitars.

We did some "show and tell" inside, but it can get tight with 4 plus guitars, so we moved out to the patio...

We started out with Mark on the X20, me on the X7, then swapped.  It was after the swap  that Joan got the camera out.  Besides having fun with our friends, it was the first time I've heard these guitars from "out front" - nice.  The X7 had Mark smiling...

Little Izzy always likes to listen when I play.

We took turns with "do you remember this one?"

Mark and I played in bands together in high school and college.  We did a duo, Mark on piano, me on guitar, both of us doing vocals.  Made more than our day jobs back in our college days.

It is always a treat to see these two.  There are some friends that you can go years without seeing, then come right back to it, as though no time had passed... Mark and Cindy are that kind of friends.

I still do plenty of playing, but this was a special treat tonight.  And just a delight to spend this time with our friends.

Getting short...

No, I'm not talking about old guys shrinking.  Although, I think I am about an inch shorter than I used to be.  Maybe it's the "old guy" velcro shoes?  LOL

It is time to think about getting on down the road.  It has been a couple months, and my itchy feet are telling me it is time to wander.  My heart tells me how much I enjoy spending time with my darling daughter.  And, of course, her husband.  And, the grandkitties.  But, they all have lives, and while I have no doubt we make those lives brighter ;-), it is about time.

When we've been in one place this long with the motorhome, we have a lot of putting away to do.  Something about spreading out, and not just my waistline.

One of the things on my agenda: washing the coach.  I was thinking tomorrow or Friday, but when I got up this morning, it was cool... the wind was calm... the sun is shining.  Yep, time to get after that.  This coach is only 29' long, but it seems to expand when washing.  And, it was grubby after the 12 seconds of sprinkles a couple days ago, followed by dusty winds.

Not any more; the Aspect is all shiny.  Joan cleaned the windows.  It looks so pretty, I am reluctant to take it on the road and have all the front surfaces commit a mass bug-acide.  Well, not so reluctant that we plan to sit in one place.

That orange thing on the windshield... no, not a "Condemned" notice - that is to let the propane delivery truck know we are on the list for propane (another thing on our list).  Joan noticed that he drove right by us.  I went out, got in the car (didn't know how far he had gone), and took off after him... didn't need the car, he was not that far.  But, by the time I got to him, he was opening up the propane compartment on a 5th wheel.  I said, "When you're done with that one, we also need propane.  I have the orange card on the windshield, but I'm guessing you missed us."

He asked, "Are you Mr. Ba..."

"Yep, that's me."

"This isn't your 5th wheel?"

"Nope, and I'm not paying for their propane, either."  ;-)

"Ohhhh... good thing you caught me."  He closed up their propane compartment and drove over to our coach.  It isn't a huge tank, but we did make it all summer in the San Juans on one tank, then a bunch of traveling back home and the winter months here on another.  It didn't take him long to fill it.  He did have our name and site number on his list.

The rest of the afternoon was cleaning up ourselves, then getting holding tanks ready for the road.  We are having dinner with friends Mark and Cindy this evening, then showing them what the RV life is like.  May even have some time for guitar playing.  (Mark and I were in several bands together in our younger - and taller - years.)

The rest of our time here will be all about squeezing in as much kid-time as we can before we hit the road.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Bingo - or more specifically...

The apple doesn't fall far from the tree.  Or, the acorn from the mighty oak.  Or, the nut from... well, you get the idea.

Joan and I were shopping in Walmart today.  No, that is not unusual.  She is cooking for the 4 of us tonight and we were getting ingredients for Steph's and my favorite dish: spaghetti.  We picked up a few things on the far side of the store, then headed to the other side for groceries.  Just before getting to the grocery aisles, I got one heckuva cramp in my upper thigh... searing pain, and I could feel the clenching of that muscle.  There was grunting... followed by "Ow!  Ow!  Ow!"... leg dragging... a great deal of grimacing... and serious limping, where I couldn't put any weight on that leg.  Yeah, it hurt; on a scale of 1 to 10, it was a 9.6... and I'm talking real pain, not just "guy pain."

Joan had supper ready to put on the table when Steph and Dan got home.  We heard about their day at school; I would not have the patience to do what they do.  The discussion turned to our day, including a detailed account of my Walmart leg pain.

My sweet, sympathetic daughter said, "Oh, my God - you were somebody's People of Walmart Bingo!  Guy grimacing in pain.  Guy dragging a leg.  Guy making faces.  Bingo!"

There was a moment of shock (me), then a bunch of laughter all around the table.  Sharp, quick wit on that kid.  Nature or nurture?  Either way, I'm taking credit for it.  She summed up that there was no permanent damage, and what better way to show sympathy than making fun of the suffering guy?  And, pointing out that his pain was someone else's victory!  Then, more laughing at the afflicted guy.  Yep, that's my kid.

Monday, March 27, 2017

That's unusual...

An old boy driving a golf cart came by while Izzy and I were walking this evening - he started pointing when he was about 100 yards away.  Not sure why he was pointing, since there was no one in the golf cart with him.  When he got up to us, he said, "That's unusual."

I replied, "You mean this cat being so smart and pretty?"

"No, walking on a leash."

"It's not unusual for her - she does it everyday."  ;-)

We were out right at sunset.  I thought it might be a dramatic photo, because of the clouds...

The cloud layer wasn't solid overhead, mostly just off to the west.  High enough that some light was getting underneath, but not what I had hoped for.  Izzy and I walked another block over, for a slight change of view...

That's OK; the wind had come up a bit and it was pleasantly cool for our walk.  I was hoping there'd be someone with a dog, so they could see this...

Yep, walked right by that hydrant without peeing on it.  Because cats are cool like that.  ;-)

You've heard that more accidents happen in the bathroom...

... than any other room in the house?  No shit?  No, that would be a whole different problem.

So, there I was this morning, soaping myself up in the shower... feel free to paint your own sexy mental image.  RVers tend to use the "pause" feature in the shower, which stops the flow of water without touching the faucet handles.  When I un-paused it... BLOOM!

With soap in my eyes, I could see that the metal wrap on the water line between the faucet and the shower-head had slid down, and the rubber hose inside of that blew a hole!  Like a blow-out with a tire... well, except water was pouring out instead of air.

Now, you may be thinking, "Yeah, but you were in the shower - where the water is supposed to be."  That would be true.  However, there was no way to control the spray... think: firehose without anyone holding it.  I quickly shut off the water and did what my years of boat captain experience led me to... "Joan!  I need a hand in here!"

She opened the shower door and said (seeing that I was not injured), "What's up?"

"The shower hose blew apart."

"Wow, that's too bad, 'cause you are really soapy."  (Feel free to paint your own non-sexy mental image here.)  "I'll be right back."  She grabbed a pair of scissors and cut the rubber hose.  Yes, that takes care of where the hole is in the rubber hose, but there is no way to reconnect it to the shower-head.

"I can use what's left of the hose to rinse off."  After a few seconds, I said, "Any chance you can close the shower door - I am still full of soap."

The shower door in the motorhome is one of those "pulls out" things... much better than a shower curtain and easier to get in and out of the shower compared to a solid shower door.  "Oh, yeah - here you go."

The rubber hose that is down the middle of what looks like a metal wrap is about as big around as your typical No. 2 pencil.  By squeezing the end of a just a bit, I could get some spray.  It wasn't a lot of force, but I got the soap off.

So, I guess we'll be going to Camping World.  ;-)

No photos.  You're welcome.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Double date...

I took my Honey to a movie today.  Along with a couple whippersnappers.

Steph and Dan are nearing the end of their spring break.  We are nearing the end of our time in the desert.  Well, they are way closer than we are, since it is back to school tomorrow for them.

The "comfortable seats" theater, where we saw CHiPS.  I've seen some less than enthusiastic reviews... mostly that it is not true to the original series and is pretty much just another buddy-cop movie.  Well... yeah.  On both counts.  The TV series took itself pretty serious - this does not.  There were a few plot twists, but the movie is more about the action, the riding, and some occasional comedy to go along with the action.

I enjoyed it.  My date and the other couple also felt it was a good time at the movies.  It isn't going to win an academy award, plays it pretty much by the buddy/bro formula, and does a decent job with that.

The double date will continue with some grillin' and eatin'.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Do you know how many kinds of cactus there are??

If you said, "About 2,000," you don't get any bonus points... this isn't music trivia... but, you would be right!  And today, we saw about 1873 types... and other cool stuff!

Our friend Cindy has a membership to the Desert Botanical Gardens and asked if we'd like to see it... "Absolutely!"  Today was the day.

We met Cindy there.  This is SO well done.  I may put a description or twelve in here, but the following is a portion of the photos I took today...

Glass Cacti at the entrance...

Joan and Cindy...

And a "Cactomaniac"...

Trails take you around the grounds, opening up to all kinds of pretty desert flora and fauna.

A fence made from Ocotilla, used by the Indians in this area - I'm guessing the kids won't try to get out of the yard with this...

A sundial (yep, pretty accurate)...

Some metal art (photo-realistic painting on metal) on display in one of the buildings...

Back to the cacti...

This is called "The Old Man of the Desert"...

Not the guy, that fuzzy-looking cactus to the right.

Delicate little blooms...

Our wrap up to the gardens was the butterfly pavilion - thousands of butterflies in a large mesh enclosure that you can walk through...

The weather was lovely - in the 70s, sunny, and near calm the whole time we were there.  From the Botanical Gardens, the three of us went out for a late lunch... Cornish Pasty-o.  All manner of meats, cheeses and vegetables rolled in a baked pastry.  The first go-around was left in the oven too long, and our waitress said, "You'll probably want us to remake these - they are way beyond crispy."  Yep, she was right.  No schedule and the conversation was lively.

We said our good-byes to Cindy, then a stop at Penzie's Spices before heading back across Phoenix... in the afternoon rush hour traffic.  Slow-going, but again: no schedule.  We stopped to see Steph, Dan, and the grandkitties before heading home.  My feet were tired from all the walking today, but little Izzy was anxious for her evening walk... and I am a good cat-daddy.

I'm going to sleep good tonight.