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Friday, July 31, 2015

The House is Ours - getting excited.

Yesterday was a really busy day. We have our new home – finished signing all the papers, got the gate opener and codes and the keys to the club houses. We can’t move in yet because the work is still going on – probably won’t be ready until beginning of next week. Hopefully sooner. We also went to look for computer desks – found them at Office Depot and they go on sale for half price! on Sunday. So we’ll buy them then. And we saved? enough money to buy some patio furniture at Pier 1. It also was on sale. Then we got a home phone. Neither of us hear real well over a cell phone. The joys of aging.
Then we stopped at a Hash House A Go Go. Had the most delicious spinach salad I’ve ever had. The biscuit was amazing. It was so good I ate ALL of it.
Bill had a Chicken Caeser Salad, said it was very good. Finally a restaurant here we like. After the disappointments at Mimi’s and Marie Callenders both with their limited menus, high prices, and surly wait staff we were glad to find a great restaurant. I was looking forward to going to both of them when we got here. They are not like they were eight years ago.
Been looking into Internet service here – have several choices. Just have to make up our minds. We probably will keep the Direct TV for TV as that is what we use in the RV when we travel and we sure don’t need two different TV providers. They say they have Internet too. Will have to find out.
Now we have to turn in more Change of Address cards to the PO. And call the movers to see when our furniture can be delivered. And set up delivery for all the stuff we bought.
We decided to put the computers in the smaller of the extra bedrooms so that leaves the little open room off the living room to put stuff in – think I’ll put my beading table and M & Ms in there. Maybe I’ll get a Fathead of the M & Ms car for the wall – just kidding – maybe. The bigger bedroom I’ll put my sewing stuff in and a guest bed of some kind. The only things we need to get now are a couple of TV stands and a guest bed/futon of some kind. Now I’m getting excited…
Weird weather here yesterday. More humid than usual for here and by evening the wind really picked up. Sky got dark and ugly. Temps didn’t drop and it didn’t rain where we are but looked like it might have been south of us. Never cooled down here inside the Alfa so it wasn’t a comfortable night.

Another metal sculpture at an interchange. Big bird and trees are metal. 
Lots of NASCAR on TV today. 

Thursday, July 30, 2015

I love the desert.

I slept in this morning – it is very overcast and gray out.  Kind of nice. Hopefully it won’t get so hot today.
Bill was up early waiting for an RV repair person who actually showed up on time – big city time, no more Brown County time. Forgot how nice that was. We had a basement door that one of the struts was giving us problems and something wrong with the water filter. All’s fixed now. And we’re getting new batteries installed – that will fix the discharging problem. If anyone is ever here in Las Vegas and needs repairs I would recommend him: Precision Maintenance + Repair 702-994-7999, Industrial Rd, Las Vegas.
Didn’t realize it has been that long since I’ve posted. Time flies when busy.
As of today we are proud home owners of a manufactured home. All the papers are signed sealed and delivered. I’d forgot the hassle of the little things involved with moving. Like getting the utilities turned on, still messing with change of addresses – but I’m trying to do most of them on line. Or downloading the forms needed to do the changes. I hope I’m not forgetting something important.
Today we have to remeasure the small bedroom to see if we can get two good sized computer desks in there. Will use it as an office. Once all the work is done I’ll take pictures. Right now it is kind of tore up. But here is the house from the front.
Another view from the back yard

A look from the living/dining room into the kitchen – before – with its ugly black cupboards.
Here is the kitchen as it looks now – being repainted white.
Hopefully we’ll find out today when all the work will be done so we can call the movers and schedule the delivery. We talked the RV park into letting us stay until Aug 6 but don’t know if we can extend it beyond that. Sure hope so ‘cause I’d hate to have to pull everything in and have to move a few blocks for a few days. This is a membership park and has limited staying time. Cross our fingers I guess.

Us old folks want a landline phone and we just used to have to call a phone company to get one. I can’t even find a just plain phone company here in Vegas – and everyone wants to “bundle” everything…bundle??? And big decisions about the TV company. channels we want (soccer and racing) and from what I’ve read a lot of the different companies don’t carry all of them – well that wouldn’t work! And should we keep the MiFi Verizon – we need it when we travel – or should we get cable or DSL. Used to be so much easier – and was really easy in Brown County where we didn’t have a choice. Guess I should be careful what I wish for. No choice or too many choices. 

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Sights in Vegas

Boy we are turning into real city people. We were actually eating dinner in a restaurant at 9:00 last night. Back in Indiana we very seldom were out late. For one thing there was nowhere to go within 25 miles and neither of us liked driving those narrow twisty roads after dark. We’d watched the NASCAR race in the afternoon - #54 – Kyle Busch won the Xfinity race at Indianapolis.
Then we took a ride to Fry’s Electronics to look for TV stands and office furniture. No furniture but did find a couple of TV stands that will work for us. And while there we saw something that just amazed me. Jaw dropping amazement. A TV that cost – get this! - $99,999.00 Yep that is right almost 100,000 dollars. Here is a picture of it. Granted it is big and curved but…$99,999! That kind of money to watch Dating Naked or the Real Housewives.
We took one of the freeways to get there and saw this guy – it’s a really neat metal sculpture.
Several of the interchanges have really nice art work decorating them. Have seen – in metal – burros, horses, goats, all kinds of plants and birds.  Nicer than just rocks or dirt.
And drove a ways down the strip – more show girls and minions. Can you imagine how hot it must be in those minion costumes? 
And lots and lots of people out walking in the 105 degree heat.
When we left the restaurant at 9:30 it was still 100 degrees, but sure didn’t feel as horrid as 90 in Indiana.
Today we of course watched the Brickyard 400 NASCAR race AND Kyle Busch won it! Since coming back from his bad injury he has won four out of the nine Cup races he’s been in. Three in a row.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

There are so many stores here!

Yesterday was kind of a quiet day. We didn’t have too much we “had to do”  Went out to breakfast, then to a Lowe’s Home Improvement store to check on a few things and to an Office Depot to make a final decision on a couple of desks for our computers. Found some that will work in the room we want to put them in, now just have to choose the color. We only have an 8 ½ foot wall to put the two desks on. Can’t decide between antique black or white. Checked out another furniture store, still looking for something to put the TV on for the living room. It is just so fun to be able to visit so many different stores all within an area close to where we’ll live. Our little town in Indiana only had one grocery store, one pharmacy, two fast food places and a bunch of stores selling stuff for the tourists. I’m like a kid in a candy store. And I don’t even like to shop. The day before we went to Penny’s and picked out faux wood blinds for most of the windows and have them ordered. Good timing for us. They were on sale and there was a 15% off coupon. Also got curtains, drapes and rod for living rooms big window. One by one we’re checking things off the list.
Also stopped by the house. The contractor is moving right along. Can’t wait until the flooring is in, it will make a huge difference. The inside and outside of the cupboards in the kitchen have been painted. From real dark to semi-gloss white. I love white in a kitchen. The cupboard doors will be new. Microwave, dishwasher and oven are only one year old. Might get a bigger refrigerator – not sure yet. Also the slatted patio cover has been removed and a larger solid patio cover will be put up. We have Vegas landscaping – lots of rocks with a few trees. We’ll probably add some planters – then again maybe not.
We hopefully should be able to move in some time in the first or second week of August. Then the fun of getting everything up and running – utilities, TV, phone, Internet etc. In case anyone missed it – we are moving into an over 55 “Manufactured Home” community. We are buying a used home from the park not a private person. It is a gated community with club house, gym, pool etc. Nice wide streets, storage for the RV.
Well my laptop cured itself this time. No more green screen instead of videos. Gremlins at work I guess. And Bill is actually enjoying his computer again. The Geek Squad did a good job on it.

Today – at least this morning – we’ll stay home so I can watch NASCAR – qualifying and a race. Now that Bill is feeling so good it is hard to keep him home for any length of time. He is drooling about the things he wants to make.

Friday, July 24, 2015

One week here already

Hummm thought I posted this last night. Guess I didn't. 

Wow - Thursday already, we've been here in Vegas for a week already. Things are moving right along.
Yesterday we went over to the house and the contractors are working hard. All new flooring - wood and carpet. Kitchen cabinets are getting fixed and repainted. We got measurements of rooms and windows. Signed some of the paperwork.
As for our mail. Almost everything is on line - so only a few things will go astray. As soon as we get the final papers signed I'll be able to go on line and make most of the change of addresses that are important. In hind sight we should have just had our mail held and had a friend pick it up and send it to us. Oh well. Live and learn. 
The most important news is - ta da - Bill is feeling just great. He is getting so excited about what things he can do after we move in. Make shelving for garage, stuff inside etc. etc. So glad to see him planning again. He can breathe and neither his nose nor his eyes are running. What a difference.
And I'm not having any trouble with the heat - and heat we are having - been over 100. It sure doesn't bother me like the heat in Indiana.  Here the heat index goes the other way. Instead of 100 "feels like" 105 it is 105 "feels like" 95. And humidity is about 20% Had a couple of cloudy days and a few minutes of sprinkles but that's all gone now. 
I know I wrote more than this but guess it just zipped into the cloud somewhere. Oh well. Lots to do today.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

One more step closer to having a home.

Woke up angry this morning. You know just when you feel out of sorts. Dreamed about moving last night – it wasn’t a good dream. That might be why. This being in limbo is driving me nuts. There is so much to be done and we can’t do any of it yet. Can’t put in changed of addresses, can’t get TV set to Pacific Time, can’t really buy furniture without measurements, can’t get my car back. So much is just waiting to be taken care of. And that makes me nervous and unsettled feeling. On Friday the manager at the mobile home park said she would call us in a couple of hours – we’re still waiting…But we will see her today at 10:30. I want to be able to take care of some of the important things, like changes of address – it kind of worries me that “Maybe” our forwarded mail will make it to the Post Office here. Maybe???
Just sitting here in the RV is driving us both nuts. All the togetherness is getting on our nerves. So we’re both being extra polite to each other - We go out to look at furniture but aren’t real sure on the room sizes and what kind of flooring we’ll have so we aren’t making and decisions. Luckily the store we bought the dining set from will hold it for a month. I’ve made so many lists of things to be done I’ll soon have to make a list of my lists! Once things start happening I’ll be complaining about having too much to do…
We’re having trouble deciding what to use the two spare bedrooms for. One for sure will have my sewing machine, desk and cutting table in it. We also brought my huge beading table. [Thinking now that wasn’t such a smart idea] But it will have to go somewhere. And we do want a bed for guests – kind of leaning towards a futon – but most of our friends are our age and don’t know how sleeping on a futon would work. I’d like to get something that folds up into a storage or wall cabinet – but they are expensive! We have a room we can use as an office for our computers so will need desks for that too. Again need to measure the space. Decisions, decisions. Will we make it to our 51st anniversary?
It is still raining back in Indiana – usual rain for June and July is about 8 inches, already had over 33 niches with more on the way.  And the county is not sure about getting federal aid because the damage wasn’t wide spread enough. Today, here, it is bright and sunny again, temps to hit 100 but at least it doesn’t feel as humid as it has been for a couple of days. Wow what a mess in California first with the fire that jumped the I-15 and burned all those vehicles and homes and now the I-10 getting washed out. Wonder if Mother Nature is trying to tell CA something.

This new laptop and I are not getting along at all. The keys are shifted a little to the left of my old one and so I keep putting my right hand on the wrong keys. And it is so sensitive – if I just brush it in the wrong place the cursor jumps to wherever. And I’m not used to the new Office program setups. Took me forever to find the thesaurus – it is under a tab named “review”…Also it has started to give me a green screen again when I try to watch a video – so it will be going back to Best Buy as they said they fixed it. Not so. 
The day ended up better than it started...Got a few things accomplished. 

Monday, July 20, 2015

Weird Las Vegas Day

This getting up at the crack of dawn - 5:30 - has got to stop! "Cause then I want to take a nap then I stay up to after midnight can't I can't sleep 'cause I took a nap. Vicious cycle. Bill can take a nap and still go to bed at a decent time.
Today was an interesting day in many ways. First we are waiting for a call from the people handling the new home. Called them twice - busy with someone else - will call us back...wait, wait. Call again - oh didn't they call? Nope. Will give them another message. Finally called them back and set up an appointment for tomorrow morning. So we should know something more by tomorrow afternoon.
Finally figured out where the Post Office closest to our new zip code is. When we left Indiana we had, on advice of the post office, our mail forwarded to the general delivery at the zip code here. Provided by the Indiana PO. Well - there is not post office in that zip code. So we went to closest PO. Very nice person told us all general delivery mail is sent to only two POs in Vegas. He gave us address of the one for our zip code. About eight miles away. Found it finally. Very nice man checked and said there was no mail for us. Really didn't expect any yet but...So we explained to him that our change of address in Indiana was just general delivery at the zip code - not an address. He smiled - Well...it will take about a month, has to go to Atlanta first then it may or may not arrive here at this particular post office. Ah! Here is a change of address card - you really want to get an address quick and change it. Okay. Bye. Lovely.
Then we got a phone call on our cell from the furniture mover company. While we were in the car on the way from the Post Office. They were upset because the move had not been paid for and they couldn't reach us at our home phone. No kidding - we moved. We got name and number so we could call them back when we got back to the Alfa and got the job number. Called the lady back [20 minutes later] she could not remember who we were...Then all she knew was they hadn't been paid. And they couldn't reach us. Dah - weren't we returning HER call. Come to find out the drivers never turned in the paper work with the credit card info on it. Now they wanted cash or wire transfer. Finally got a hold of someone who knew what was going on and got that straightened out. I hope. 
Then we went to pick up Bill's computer. That went fine and it is working great thank goodness. 
Like I said a weird day. 
And it is muggy here in Nevada - what is with that? 
I think I'll have a glass or two of wine and go to bed. 

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Sunny Sunday

The picture in the header is the view from our new back yard. 
The sun was out all day here in Vegas and the temperatures didn't quite reach 100.
How much our life has changed in a couple of weeks - from this
 To this - and soon hopefully to our new home. Need to take a picture of it.  
I was up at 5:30 this morning just as it was getting light out. In Indiana we lived at the far western edge of Eastern Time Zone so it didn't get light until after 7 a.m. But it stayed light until 9:30 p.m. Here it gets light early but is dark by 8:15. as now we are in the far eastern edge of the Pacific Time Zone. The sun coming up over the mountains.
 The 1000 Trails RV park is almost empty this time of year.  Usually when we're here it is wall to wall RVs. 
 We decided to relax an enjoy Sunday. So first thing we went out to breakfast at Mimi's Restaurant in Henderson. Haven't been to a Mimi's since moving away from here eight years ago. Food was good but expensive - coffee almost $3 a cup! Which reminds me gasoline is around $3.25 a gallon. Not used to that either. 
After breakfast we came back to the Alfa because I am addicted to NASCAR and it was time for the race. Sure glad we watched it. My favorite driver #18 Kyle Busch WON the race. He has won three out of the last eight races. He missed the first eleven races of the season because he broke both legs at the beginning of the season. 
After I quit screaming and jumping up and down we got in the car and went furniture shopping. Went to a big furniture store and saw this in the parking lot - only in Vegas - not sure how to describe it except it was a Chrysler convertible. No one was in it. The hat is on the driver's seat head rest. What looks like a head on the passenger seat is really a rock. 

The entire inside is covered with artificial grass. The blue is plastic fringe. Supposed to resemble waterfalls I guess. 
 The dash board, doors, seats and floor boards all covered in grass!
 And we actually found something we liked - on sale - so we now own a dining room set: table and six chairs - kind of distressed country chic - or something like that. 
It was a beautiful day here in Vegas. And this is the closest we've been to the strip. Just passing by 
Hopefully tomorrow will be busy making decisions about and signing papers for the house. 

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Quiet Saturday - catching up on rest.

Had a short hard rain here yesterday and temps up into 110. We got a lot done though.
Chance of rain today here in Vegas is 50% and you can really feel the moisture in the air. Later – gray skies, lots of wind for a while but only a couple drops of rain. Anyway where we are. Might have rained in another area.
Went to market so Bill could get some of his favorite egg bagels. Couldn’t find them in Indiana. He enjoyed every bite. 
Back home I reinstalled the printer into my laptop. Sure hope that isn’t what caused my video problem a couple of weeks ago.
Also trying to do laundry. There are only two washers and two dryers in closest laundry room. When I went over to check there was a load in one washer and one dryer [both machines stopped]. I am on my third load in washers and their stuff is still not picked up. That ruffles my feathers. So I just took the It looks like about three washer loads. All guy stuff – sorry guys. So several back and forths to get everything done. Guess I’m lucky that’s all I have to complain about.
Also watched some NASCAR. Practice, qualifying and a race.
Waiting to hear from the house people before we can do any more there. And looking up furniture stores to go visit. But today we just kind of vegged out. Both of us took long naps. Went to Applebee’s for dinner. Delicious dinner.

Our Direct TV is still set to Eastern time zone – so all regular programming comes on three hours earlier than in Indiana. Have to remember to that when I want to watch something. Once we get the house we’ll call Direct and get things straightened out. But being here on Pacific Time – all the live soccer games and races will be on in the morning…

Friday, July 17, 2015

It has been a very busy year

It finally cooled down enough to turn the AC off about 10:30 last night, but it is only 7:30 a.m. and it is going to get turned on real soon. At least everything is drying up in here and the musty smell is going away. For the last couple of weeks everything continually felt damp.
The RV park is only about 1/3 rd full. Not too many people want to spend summer in an RV in Las Vegas.
So today starts a new chapter in our life. We have to go to the mobile home park this morning to discuss the house. More needs doing on it then we were led to believe. So we’ll see how that goes. The main thing is the flooring – it is only a year old BUT – for some reason they had a real spongy pad put under a wood look vinyl flooring. So it isn’t flat and most of the pieces are separating at the seams???? Needs to be replaced and that might be a deal breaker. So that will occupy us for a good part of the day. As will looking for new furniture.
I was looking back at the past year. We’ve done so much.
Last summer I spent most of the summer glued to my computer working on the book.

For any new readers the book is about a trip Bill and I took in 1978. We sold our home bought a 24 foot Pace Arrow motorhome, loaded five kids in it and drove the Pan American Highway from Los Angeles to Argentina. We were gone for over a year before we returned to the U.S.  Just an excerpt from the book when we arrived at the border of Chile.
 By now we were almost to the border with Chile. We arrived there around noon.
This was the most through border crossing we experienced. The guards were very well turned-out they were all dressed in sharply pressed uniforms with caps. And they were extremely polite and efficient.
But we did have a few small problems.
During the inspection of the interior of the motorhome our refrigerator was opened and in it were lettuce, tomatoes and green peppers. Well we couldn’t bring any fresh fruit or vegetables into Chile so we were told we would have to throw them away or eat them. So I fixed a big delicious salad for lunch.
Also while searching the one of the younger guards found one of the realistic looking black plastic BB guns (I mentioned them earlier – while we were in Mexico City). It looked pretty real so the guard was a taken aback. “What is that?” he demanded.
Making sure he did not get near the gun Bill said, “It is just a toy. A BB gun.”
The guard asked to see it. Bill handed it to him. While turning it over and over in his hands he asked if we had any real guns.
Bill said, “No – just the BB guns.  That one and one other.”
“It is very real looking,” replied the guard. “I would like to see the other one too.”
Bill went to the closet and dug it out from under the linens. When the guard saw it his eyes widened – he was amazed.
“Are you sure it isn’t real?” he asked as he took a step backward. “How does it work? Show me please.”
They went outside and Bill took it and shot it off out into the desert. Brrrrrrrrrrttttttttttttt! Brrrrrrrrrttttttttttt. It was an automatic so 50 or so BBs shot harmlessly into the empty landscape.
The guard went over to the building and called his lieutenant to come and look. 
The lieutenant, a rather rugged looking man, hurried out. He conversed with the guard and put out his hand for the gun. “I would like to see how it works.”  He then shot a few rounds into the desert. Brrrrrrrrrrttttttttttttt
“I have to show this thing to the Captain” he said as he turned towards the building.  “It is incredible; I’ve never seen anything like it.”
As they all entered the building, a 15 x 15 room with concrete block walls, the lieutenant called for the captain to come and look at the gun.
“Look at this, look – it looks so real,” the excited lieutenant said as the captain rose from his metal desk. His hands were outstretched reaching for the gun. As he took hold of the gun Bill started to warn him that it was cocked as they had been shooting it off outside. He didn’t get the words out soon enough. 
As he took it the Captain put his finger on the trigger - Brrrrrrrrrrrttttttttttt Brrrrrrrrrrttttttttttt the BBs shot out– INSIDE A CONCRETE ROOM. They flew around the room ricocheting off one wall then the other. Everyone dove for cover under anything they could find. Bill and Randy ended up under the desk. When the BBs ultimately hit the floor pandemonium broke lose. The Captain yelled at the lieutenant and threw the gun on the desk. Then he turned on Bill who was crawling out from under the desk. Why had he given it to the lieutenant? Why did he have it? Was everyone crazy?
Things finally settled down and the Captain took the gun outside to play with it.  Eventually the gun was given back, the salad was eaten and we were given our Tourist Cards. The Tourist Cards were post cards of Chilean scenery. Really nice.
It is available in hard copy and ebook. 
But back to today. It just finished RAINING here. Yes in Vegas, a short but heavy downpour with more to come.
We met with the company we are buying the house from and went over what needed to be done. Seems we're all on the same page. Will know more tomorrow. Then we took Bill's PC in to the Geek squad to get treatment. And to Barnes and Nobel so I could buy a new Nook to replace my broken one. and then to a couple of furniture stores to check things out. Going to be hard to select something we agree on. 

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Are We There Yet? Yes!

I mentioned the heavy rain we had last night in Gallup. It didn't rain very long but it was very serious about it as proved by the puddles. For a minute I thought we were back in Indiana.
 After the rain it really cooled off - much to my delight. And there was a semi pretty sunset. But I will take what ever I can get. Been a while since I've seen a colorful one. 
I mentioned that the humidity was going down as we progressed further West. The refrigerator door is already starting to split. Not really wide yet but...It had completely closed up in Indiana.
 Speaking of Indiana We've heard from several of our friends there and mostly the news wasn't good. Guess I should rephrase that - their news was okay but the area's news was really bad news. One of our friends lives where a small tornado touched down. Missed their home but hit the house across the street. Thousand of people in Brown County were without power and/or water for two or three days. Trees and power lines are down everywhere. Streets have been undermined by rushing water and are impassable. Whole areas not far from the campground we stayed at are under four to five feet of water. The shop where Bill had the oil changed on the Jeep is under water. And it goes on and on. At least part of yesterday and today the sun was out. But it will take a long time to be better. 
But to continue with our journey - excuse the bugs on the windshield - can't do anything about them. The rain washed a lot of them off but not all. This morning when we woke up it was dry and almost COLD. About 61 degrees - didn't last long though. Leaving the campground heading towards the freeway. We left Gallup at 6:45 as we knew it was going to be along day. 
 And on into Arizona - weren't we just here a couple of months ago? Actually about two months and eight days ago. Only going the other direction. Who knew we'd be back this way so soon. 
 We stopped in Winslow [of the Standing on the corner fame] to eat breakfast - we dawdle over meals - took about an hour. By the time we got back in the Alfa it was starting to get warm. Heading down the long long highway towards Flagstaff. Last time we came by here heading east there was a lot of snow on the mountains. 
I am sorry to say but Interstate 40 from about Williams to Kingman is one of the worst stretches of highway we've been on - including the highways in Mexico. At least it is getting some work done on it. But not enough quickly enough. 
 Again strong cross winds crossing the bridge into Nevada. Glad we followed the signs and were in the left land. And we are in another time zone. Right now as I write this it is 7:12 - four days ago it would be 10:12. Bill is already laying down. 
 Las Vegas getting closer.
 Oh! The mountain goats. I actually saw them in time to get a picture of them. Beside the highway just before Boulder. 
Heading down the freeway a look at the strip through the dust stirred up by the wind. We are staying at the 1000 Trails RV Park on Boulder Highway near Desert Inn. For once I actually made reservations and when we got there they couldn't find any reservation for us. In fact they couldn't find our membership in the computer. So said they couldn't let us in unless we paid $37..50 a day. WHAT?!? Finally I had to call TT make a new reservation over the phone and get a confirmation number - then we showed up in the computer again. Not what Bill needed after a long drive.
So anyway...in four days - Sunday afternoon to Thursday afternoon we did 1883 miles. Way too many in way to short of a time. Had hot and humid weather and rain and cool weather. Now today here it was 110 - BUT "feels like" 103 - well goody. AND just got over the cell phone a FLASH FLOOD ALERT for Las Vegas over the weekend. You've got to be kidding. 
We may be making some changes in our plans here - we were interested in a home we'd never seen the inside of until today. Some changes will have to be made by seller for us to get it. But that is another story for another day. Then went out to dinner and now I'm going to bed - early for Pacific Time - regular for Eastern time. 

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Hello from New Mexico

I am reaching the "where are we?" stage of this trip. Hard to remember where we woke up. Thinking hard I remembered it was Amarillo. Last night it cooled down some and the humidity dropped so we both must have been sleeping well and kind of slept in. So we didn't leave the RV park until 7:30. About an hour later we stopped to have breakfast - took us about an hour to eat. So by then it was 9:30 
The weather was remaining a lot cooler and less humid. Bill kept commenting on how good he felt. How great it was to be able to breathe. So guess it's good we got this far this fast. 
Eventually we left Texas behind and entered into New Mexico and another time zone. We usually make it a habit to stop in Tucumcari, NM but it was just too early to stop and stay.  
 Saw this planted field in bloom. Reminds me of the yellow fields in Idaho that grow rape [Canola refers to both an edible oil produced from the seed of any of several varieties of the rape plant, and to those plants, namely a cultivar of either rapeseed or field mustard/turnip rape.] It sure is a bright yellow. Saw several fields of it 
 Now that is just what I want SNAKE STUFF - one of the many, many signs for a "trading post" almost makes me want to stop and go in. 
 Hum...the clouds are starting to build up in the sky. A while ago there were none. I've been watching the weather for New Mexico and Arizona since we left home. Seems like there has been rain in both states every day. That's what we need some rain. 
 And they continue to build. Sure was pretty out though. Red dirt, green plants and blue sky. Makes me remember why I love the desert. Don't think I've ever seen it so green here in New Mexico.  
 Please excuse the bugs on the window - some of them really splattered. Thought the landslide was kind of interesting. Looks like a dump truck just dumped a load of gravel. Today was a day of gaining altitude. Got up to over 7220 feet at the Continental Divide. And pretty much stayed high - I think Gallup is over 6000. Surprisingly the altitude isn't seeming to bother Bill. He is just so excited about being able to take breaths without effort. 
 Looking more and more ominous in the distance. A couple of views we could actually see the rain coming down. (and miracle of miracles today it wasn't raining in Brown County.)
 Saw this flag proudly waving up on a hill in the middle of no where. I'm surprised no one has made some one take it down. 
 Checking the weather on the phone. Looks like we are driving right into it. It didn't pass before we got there, but it wasn't as intense as it looked on the phone. 
 Just enough drizzle to smear the bug guts when the wipers went over them. Not hard enough to clean them off.
Soon we were out of it. Then we decided to stop and get diesel, cheaper in NM $2.69 then in AZ and we were getting low. Also decided to eat then I wouldn't have to mess with dinner. Again spent close to an hour eating etc. The RV Park in Gallup was only 20 miles further on We stay at the USA RV Park in Gallup all the time. Nice people, very clean, big pull throughs, WiFi, 50 amps and if you want cable TV. $33 a night. 
We had no sooner settled in when the heavens opened up. Thunder, lightening and buckets and buckets of rain. Glad we were already here. 
We traveled 436 miles today and tomorrow should be able to make it to Vegas by mid afternoon. Thank goodness. my behind is getting numb. 

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

My mouth is zippered shut - or rather it should have been

I took this snap from the TV last night. It is of the area we lived in. Severe, severe storms there all day and night. Inches of rain. Lots of areas unpassable because of trees and power lines down and flooding. Including homes and businesses. Good thing we got out of there when we did. We lived just about above the little + in the lower right of the photo. Have not heard anything about our house. So guess that is good news. 
 It remained hot and humid all night in Joplin. Could not sleep so was up way before light. Got out of the campground around 6:45 and went across the street to the Flying J to fill up. $2.49 for diesel there. The joys of driving through farming country - Bill trying to wash the cooked bugs off the windshield. We didn't eat as neither of us were hungry yet. So entered the Interstate around 7:15.
 A few miles later we entered Oklahoma - not good pic but you get the idea. We like the Turnpike from Joplin to Oklahoma City. Nice highway with light traffic. Even going through Tulsa and Oklahoma City isn't bad. It costs $19.50. Our original plans were to stop just west of Oklahoma City, but it was only 11:00 - to early to stop for the day. But we did stop for lunch - took about an hour.
 So now the question was - how far would we go before stopping? The day again was hot and humid. No way to keep the inside of the Alfa really comfortable when it's that hot out. Any way we kept driving and driving. With another stop for diesel in Sayre, OK. at another Flying J - cost here $2.589 a gallon. We have a Pilot RV rewards card and that lowers the cost. We have not been getting good mileage, between using the generator and Bill driving a little faster than he usually does. Only getting a little over 7 mpg. We usually get around 8. While here we went into the restaurant for a snack. I had apple pie and he had ice cream. So we were ready to roll again. On into Texas. How far was he going to go...As far as he could without me going ballistic. He mentioned Tucumcari, NM.
We eventually stopped in Amarillo, TX. After 466 miles and nine hours (with a couple of stops.) MORE THAN ENOUGH. The only sounds coming out of me were growls. We're staying at the Amarillo Ranch RV Park not too far from the Big Texan Steakhouse. We stayed here before, for longer than we'd planned due to heavy winds in the area. No winds today - just 100 degree heat. So we got settled in AC going watching TV when pop, breaker blew. Outside to reset it. This happened four times. We called the office and sent a guy out. Yep breaker is weak. Basically, deal with it. Turned TV off, unplugged phones and computer and so far it is okay - I'm hoping when the sun gets further down the AC won't pull so hard. I want to watch TV soon.
I forgot to mention that my watch is working again. We did go into town and buy me a new really cheap one just so I'd have it. By the time we got home my old favorite one was working fine and has been up to now. And last night I tried to turn on my Nook and the touch screen is damaged so I only get half of a page. Nuts. right in the middle of a good book. Put on list of things to do right away in Vegas.  

Monday, July 13, 2015

One day and one mile and one aggravation at a time

We are in Joplin, MO and it is 8:40 at night and the temperature is 91 but "feels like" 102. Need I say more. We left the campground in Illinois this morning at 15 to 7:00 and it was already hot and humid out. Notice the mist rising from the grounds.
 I actually was trying to take a picture of the big barge on the river but of course got Bill too. Had to laugh - usually when we are going through here in the fall and spring he has on his beanie and gloves. He even looks hot. 
 Crossing over the river into Missouri.
 We take the I-270 bypass around Saint Louis. After missing the turnoff in downtown Saint Louis twice I won't go that way any more. Didn't save any time as the traffic was almost as bad and the miles are longer. But it sure saves my ego.  All the way through I could hear Bill muttering "I hate big cities." Me too. Some drivers have no concept of how long it takes an RV to slow down and/or stop. Especially the guys/gals driving the cars with bright fancy paint jobs.
 Finally through Saint Louis and on the I-44 west. Glad we weren't going the other way. This was backed up for miles. 
 I was thinking about how many times we've traveled this route and how many times we've said, "We should stop and see that." Like the worlds biggest wind chime, the worlds biggest golf tee, The foot high pies at the Blue Springs Restaurant and all the murals in Cuba, MO. And all the things we talked about doing in and around our home in Nashville. Guess now we'll have to make a special trip just to do those things. But not in the summer. Talked to friend back home. They got another severe storm today that dumped 1 1/2 inches of rain in less than an hour. Glad we left yesterday.
We have passed this place twice a year and it continues to amuse me. This is all metal work. And it is really big stuff.
 Just more of it
And I always admire the paint jobs on the trucks at this place. I want one ...
So any way we finally arrived in Joplin seven hours after leaving Mulberry Grove. Stopped for about an hour to eat. Did 357 miles - seemed like 3000! Had to keep the generator running to run the big AC the engine one just didn't cut it. We are staying at the KOA we always stay at here.
When Bill started to hook up he ran into a problem. The main power cable from the Alfa didn't work. We've been having problems with it but thought they were corrected. Guess not. The plug burned out. Lovely - went to the office to ask about where we could buy a new one or get it repaired. He sent us to Wheelen RV in Joplin just up the road. One of the workers just resting. Just kidding.
They didn't have any new ones but the service man offered to repair the old one. He replaced the plug while we waited. 
I would highly recommend this place if you ever need repairs while in Joplin. After getting the repair done we went across the street to Cracker Barrel for dinner. Good food, good price. One the way back to the RV park the thermometer in the Jeep! Last time it registered 100 was a long time ago and I don't remember where. 
So now the electric is working fine - but the AC is struggling to keep it cool in here. Tomorrow is another day - and another hot one. I hope we only go as far as Oklahoma City - but...