Friday, October 30, 2015

Happy Halloween

If you enjoy this holiday on the last day of October, I hope you have a good celebration. I have to tell you, it isn't my favorite holiday. In fact, since our sons were out of grade school, at least, I have disliked the day. I didn't like coming up with costume ideas for the boys. The night was often cold and I really wasn't wild about taking them around the neighborhood, trick or treating. After they left home, we often turned out all the lights and spent the evening in the basement so we wouldn't have to buy and hand out candy. I didn't mind giving it away. But it was bad for my waistline when I ate everything we didn't give away.

And I especially didn't like having to wear a costume on the few occasions when my job required me to be dressed up.

But, in case you do like this day, I share with you the decorations a few of our neighbors put out for the event.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Why Now?

Chirp...chirp...chirp. "Did you hear that?" John asked at 10:30 last night. "No, what?" "Just wait, you'll hear it."

Chirp. It can't be a bird at this time of night. What is it? "The smoke alarm," was my response.

Of course, we were both sound asleep. But there was no choice but to get up and do something about it. I turned on lights. John went outside and got the ladder. When he climbed up and twisted it to take it down, there were wires attached, going into the ceiling. We both groaned. Years ago, the hard-wired alarm in our Colorado house started chirping. We couldn't get it to stop. We took it off the wall and disconnected it. Still, it chirped. We finally had to take a hammer to it and destroy the *** thing to find silence. Thankfully, this time John discovered a compartment for the battery. I went over to the RV and got the container of batteries. A new 9-volt one did the trick. Silence, sweet silence.
While the ladder was up and we were awake, he also changed the battery in the kitchen smoke detector. We didn't want another night wake-up chirp.

Twice every year, the public is advised to change the batteries in their smoke detectors--when day-light savings time begins and when it ends. The fall change-over is this coming Sunday.
Since Arizona doesn't observe daylight savings time, how did the smoke detector know it was time for a new a battery?

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

An Exciting Time

Look what was delivered today!

What is it?

The fellows from Lowe's moved it into our workshop. Can you tell yet what it is?

Yea, it is a washer-dryer combination.

We have even done two loads of wash today. For nearly 7 years, we have done the laundry exclusively in laundromats. I haven't minded. That way, I can get everything for the week washed and dried in about 2 hours. But where we are now, once the park is full in February and March, the laundry room isn't large enough to accommodate everyone. We had to work around others, make sure we were there by 7 or 7:30 in the morning or wait till afternoon. You could never be a little late to move clothes from the washer to the dryer or to fold the dry loads. Someone was always waiting to use the machine.

So it is great to have our own equipment and be able to wash whenever we want. I am amazed at how large the wash tub and dryer drum are. I was afraid they would be as small as a stackable apartment size washer and dryer we had in one condominium we rented. This is going to be a good deal.

And notice the water softener next to the washer? That was delivered this week, as well. No more mineral-filled, bad-tasting water. The water in Arizona is really awful.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Things Are Coming Together

We returned to an empty workshop addition to our house. No appliances, no tools, only a folding lawn chair and boxes of supplies.

After lots of shopping at Lowe's and on Amazon, the boxes started arriving.

We found parts and instruction sheets.

I started bolting together the scroll saw stand.

John did a lot of that work, too.

The last step was to attach the equipment to the stands.

We aren't done yet, by a long shot, but look what we have so far. I have my own lathe for turning bowls.  If only I had some tools to do the work.  I have lots of wood.

We have a scroll saw.

As you can see, the lawn chair and boxes are still there. The workbench parts are on their way. We are excited to get started working there.

Oh yes, the washer/dryer, water softener and utility sink will we delivered and installed within the next week or two.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Settling In in Arizona

We've now been in our winter home in Arizona since Saturday. We were so glad to get here, but it certainly hasn't been a relaxing few days. When we left at the end of April, the construction of our addition wasn't quite complete. It is so good to see everything finished and the new paint job.

The workshop is on the back side of the carport you can see in this photo.

We love the new brown color (John really didn't like the original pink sandstone color).

It has been years since we ended our summer travels by moving out of the RV and into a house. Last winter when this house was ready, we slowly moved over all we needed from the RV. Today, we think we have almost totally moved into the house for the next six months or so. It is a lot of work! Saturday and Sunday, we were up and down the four steps to the RV, moving food and clothing from one place to the other.

Monday, we started equipping our empty work shop. That included ordering a stack-able washer-dryer, a water softener and a utility sink. The local Lowe's was glad when we came through their front door. We were also looking for some outdoor furniture. I think in years past, they have had lots on display. This year, the Christmas decorations are already on display in Lowe's, Home Depot, Costco and Wal-Mart, so we had very little to choose from--and bought nothing.

In addition to those purchases, I went on-line and ordered a scroll saw and small wood lathe. Next, we have to find a workbench and storage cabinet. Snowbirds like us certainly are good for the local Arizona economy. And we are having a lot of fun getting the workshop and laundry ready to use.

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

An Historic Plaza

We have driven through--or maybe it is past--Las Vegas, New Mexico, numerous times as we traveled to and from Arizona or Texas. This was our first time to stop. We wanted to avoid crowded RV parks in the Albuquerque area because this week is the annual Balloon Festival. We enjoyed looking around the historic plaza. It surrounds a great green area with large shade trees.

There are several statues of recent vintage, possibly a part of the plaza revival. The first honors farm workers.

This is Our Lady of Sorrows, patroness of the city's Roman Catholic Church.

Titled "Cry of the Ages," this one depicts a Native American. A man resting in the plaza told us there was originally a long spear in his hand but it has since been stolen.

Las Vegas was established in 1835 under a Mexican land grant. It flourished as a stop on the Santa Fe Trail. In 1846 during the Mexican-American War, General Stephen Kearney delivered an address in the plaza, proclaiming New Mexico was now a part of the United States. This monument includes part of his address. It says, in part, that in America all people, rich and poor, are treated equally under the law and all people, protestant or catholic, are welcome to practice their religion in this country. Hopefully, you can click on the photo to enlarge it and read some of what he said.

Some of the old buildings on the plaza are beautifully restored, at least on the outside. We only went in one store, which had really quality gifts and clothing for sale.

Historic Route 66 passed through this area, as we could see by this sign.

This was once the main fire department. We enjoyed the old fire truck outside, as well.

The town was an interesting diversion as we travel south.

Saturday, October 03, 2015

So Far, So Good

Outside, at least. Yesterday Scott with RV Doctor in northern Colorado installed a new front hydraulic landing gear on the passenger side of our 5th wheel. That meant we were free to leave Wellington and start our journey south. It seems to be working just fine--not drifting down while we drive.

Now we have to deal with the effects of the terrible Colorado highways. We came into Colorado in early October, driving on I-70. It was terrible--very bumpy. Over the years, they have made many sections of the road concrete, so each seam is a small bump. It is noisy and irritating. Today, we drove south on I-25 to Colorado Springs. Not only did we have to deal with concrete sections, they are in the midst of repaving. They are using asphalt, but they haven't done the bridges yet in many places. There were really horrible bumps. If we could have gone really slow--maybe 45 or so, at times even slower--we might have been OK. But the highway is busy and we had to stay somewhat close to the speed limit.

We were not happy campers when we came inside to put out the slides. The cabinet where I keep recipe books came open and books and loose recipes were spread out everywhere. I have magazines in a container that travels in my chair while we travel. It had bounced out of the chair, dumping all the magazines onto my bookcase. In addition, one shelf in a bookcase fell and the drawer in a small table was falling out. Then I discovered that the MCI day/night roller shade fell out of the rear window. That is a bear to re-attach. Obviously, we didn't get to relax as soon as we were set up.

We can't wait to get out of this state. Thank goodness, we will be in New Mexico. Hopefully, their roads are better.

Thursday, October 01, 2015

One finished, waiting for repair

After our brother-in-law's funeral on Monday, we spent two nights at our son Eric's home, enjoying quality time with him, his wife Liz and children Kylie and John. Since we travel and spend our winters in Arizona, we don't have nearly as much time with this family as we did when we only lived a few miles from them. So, it was good to have two good evenings to eat delicious dinners and share their busy lives.

We had a good time hearing about their school lives--both parents are teachers and, of course, the young people are in school.

I was amazed at how focused our grandchildren were on their homework. Both have swimming practice after school, so study time in the evening is limited. In this photo, you can see Kylie (while listening to music on her ear phones) working on a paper while Liz and the rest of us were talking and having a good time. The previous night, John sat in that same spot and read a book while we talked. I guess they have learned to concentrate in a noisy environment. They are both good students.

Now we wait anxiously for the RV repairman to come tomorrow and, hopefully, replace our faulty front hydraulic landing gear. If so, Saturday, we finally head south toward Arizona and our winter home.