Frugal RVing In South States - Ebooks

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Lets All Move To The Fun Side Of The Island!!!


Over all, I am happy enough to invite you over and launch the new site. Remember, I am still fiddling, but I think you are more likely to be able to help me find little tweak points anyway, so without further adieu, at least on this site, I give you my new location:

Please change your bookmarks to


Bye Bye. See you on the fun side....



Rain Again

I think that the area has now tripled the usual annual rainfall for the year, and we haven't hit the rainy season (near the end of summer).

Again the roof was drumming out a sleepy rhythm through the night. We had a bit of a lull, and a tiny patch of sun, but now being 2 pm, we are hearing rumbles of thunder.

We again have a huge puddle across the drive path near the red water tower.

This morning I noticed that the waterfall had returned, and again the reservoir by which we are residing has a really intriguing brown on green patterning going on.

I still declare this to be the best worst weather we have yet experienced. It was rather amusing as we did an exploratory drive seeing people out with toques and gloves. Now come on, it's not that bad!!

So we first wanted to see if Skunk Hollow was swimming again, and it was, though not nearly as bad as previously, then we decide that since there was not much else to do, we explored some of the side roads along Senator's Wash Road. We found Coyote Ridge, and a few other mesas and such places, but they were all a bit isolated for our liking.

I am enclosing some shots of both the aftermath of the wet, and some of the explored regions.

The Blogger version of this post has a few less pictures, but please revisit the post once I go live on the new page (really soon, I hope) as it is much easier to include a photo gallery in the new format. (The rain is starting again...)




Anyway, I am working really hard to get the new site ready for launch so bear with my less frequent posts. We are almost there.

But for now,

Adieu

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Start of Something New

I am in the process of setting up a new site for Life On Our Ark. It is an exciting step, and it is going to take just a bit longer, but I think any of you that are following will approve of the change.

By switching sites, I am moving into the less confined space of a self-owned site. This will also solve the issues I have been having with linking, photo limits, and layout.

I am just making sure the archives are accurate, and then I will post the relocation site. Hang in there as I focus on getting it right and then come on over to the "fun side of the island" - (Marty from Madagascar).

In the meantime, just for small talk's sake, it is interesting to watch as some of the locals have starting hiking across the mud flats. The water level has been down for about 2 weeks now, and it is not as moist as it was, so you can walk without sinking in. I am looking forward to the water level increasing.

I am rather surprised with all the rain we have had that the farmers feel the need to flood the fields when new crops have been planted. It seems that the fields have new crops in about every month and a half. It is quite a change from the Canadian standard. I think the most I have seen in a season is about 3 crops, and that was in the "lotus land" of Victoria where the season is much longer.


(One day later the lake is finally up to full status again.)
Anyway, I will bid you

Adieu.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Reminded OF Two Oldie Songs :-)


As I sit here listening to yet another unseasonal weather pattern - stormy, rainy winds with possible thunder and lightening, I am recalling a song I remember on the charts when I was much younger - I don't think I had even found a second digit in my numbering yet.

It was Albert Hammond's "It Never Rains In Southern California" To be more accurate, it came out in 1972, saying something along the lines of "it never rains, but it pours". (It is actually about the struggles of an artist trying to break into fame, but that one line rings as I sit here in Southern California ... serenaded by the melodious sound of wailing wind, and the patter of drops rhythmically striking the rubber roof of our cozy home. )

Which reminds me, I said I would show you my desert lawn. I remind you that the metaphor I gave to describe it was a young teen's beard.

Here is my lawn .....
(No, really, look close, there really is green there) :-)

The second song has found a new meaning that was never intended by the Doobie Brothers - "Black Water". Now, RVers of any persuasion - from weekend journeyer to full timer - can fully appreciate the humouristic feeling this classic song evokes as you stand by the driver side of your chosen mobile domicile, bending with a 3 inch hose and assorted attachments.

While connecting, perhaps to blue boy, perhaps to sewer connections at a full service site, or perhaps the middle ground, a public dump site, you find yourself quietly humming to yourself, or perhaps recalling the poignant lyrics, " Old Black Water, keep on rollin'....."

Like I said, it doesn't seem to be quite what the Doobie Brothers had in mind, but hey, it lightens the effect of the overbearing aroma that accompanies that particular activity.

In the words of the memorable governess/nanny, Mary Poppins, "A spoon full of sugar helps the medicine go down."

And so, having planted two pleasantly hummable tunes in as many heads as I could reach (and perhaps one more childlike, but pleasant one), I bid you

Adieu



Monday, February 22, 2010

The Best of The Worst

I sit here enjoying more of the best of the worst experiences which we seem to excel at over the last 4 years.

Clarifier: There hasn't yet been a place that we have come to that hasn't had the locals / regular visitors declare that "this is the worst weather we have had in years".

This particular version of worst has had about a week, or two tops of rainy days dispersed between 3 months, the coldest has never hit freezing, and I have never been inclined to wear more that a sweater and a light shell for weatherproofing.

If we are really lucky, the worst will continue in that the temperature won't exceed the high 80s before the end of March. (Much as we aren't fond of the cold, neither are we inclined to the fast approach of extended periods in the triple digits.)

So today's installment of worst weather included a wind storm that was moderate, with clouds. "We should be able to avoid precipitation, however......." , sayeth the weather prognosticator.

.... I took Midnight out for his morning business trip, and thought I had felt a drop. Not likely though, we aren't getting rain. I got the leash off and entered, closed the door, and then heard the torrent break loose. The dry wind predicted made the ground suspiciously wet is an amazingly short period of time.....

I do qualify this inclement arrival with the understanding that although I strongly would recommend a lined jacket once the dryness was being over-ridden, but while tending to canine inclinations, I was quite comfortable in a t-shirt.

Like I say, this is definitely the best worst weather we have yet encountered. Perhaps we shall return next year. - How bad can it get? ( As she quickly dashes around the rig desperately seeking real wood to touch. How much can one person tempt the elements, making a statement like that right out there for the whole world to view in cyberspace???!!!!!?) Never fear, my fate is in greater hands than even nature itself ;-)

So what on earth do you do on a day like that ... Just for something different, we went to town. No, wait a minute, it's just a rerun. I can't wait for the new season of this show to start!!

Nonetheless, progress was made. We got an air filter for the truck, picked up some bolts for various projects, picked up a magnetic CB arial (useful for communication on the ridge. You no longer require a license for them, so it provides longer range than walkie-talkies, and cheaper than cell phone minutes - especially if you are convoying on a cross country journey, but I digress.....), and some groceries.

All things considered, life is pretty good right now. :-)

Adieu

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Model Air Show, Yuma Arizona

We went to see the Yuma Model Air Show today, and really enjoyed it. When we arrived, they were just launching the red jet and it put on quite of show.



The jet uses real jet fuel, and has a real scale size jet engine. It holds enough fuel for 8 minutes of flight time. It is capable of amazing speed, but is legally restricted to a speed of 200 mph. Watching it zoom by was amazing. It also did some maneuvering that clearly defined the caliber of the pilot guiding it.

Then they called the pilots to assemble their planes on the runway so that the crowd could view them up close.



Shortly after that break, they launched This plane:



It is a relatively simple craft, except that its under carriage is rigged for the fellow lying on its wings.

It can hold up to 3 paratroopers, and the fellow who owns the plane has a friend who runs the plane so that once he releases the paratroopers (I believe one at a time) he remotely controls them while the friend continues to fly the plane.

For the run that we viewed, he only set one paratrooper, but earlier, he released 2.

The following shot is of a B 25 bomber. We didn't see it fly, but it was an impressive replication.



The following video clip is of a Yak. The pilot is performing an extremely advanced maneuver called a prop stand.


Posted by Picasa
video

We quite enjoyed the event. Less formal activities are continuing tomorrow. We however, will be staying up on the ridge. Again the laundry and sewer beckon.

Ah, well tomorrow is another day, so for now,

Adieu

Friday, February 19, 2010

Looking Ahead

I am not quite sure how we do it, but this week, we managed to have cause for a town trip every day. I do look forward to a day on the ridge..... but that will not be tomorrow....

Tomorrow, we are planning to go to the model air show just outside Yuma, in our direction. It promises to be quite an event, so I do hope we manage to go.

Our temperatures have been quite warm, climbing just across the 80s F, but the weekend is supposed to dip slightly and hold in the mid 70s. - great flying weather :-)

With any luck, we might actually hold ground for a couple days starting Sunday.

Having read up on some of blogs that I follow, I am catching a theme of "snowbirds prepping to return to their roosts."

Then I casually glance down at the calendar in the corner of my desktop, and shutter at the realization that in 6 to 7 weeks, we are starting the journey back. What happened, did I miss something? It has been a really good experience, and the additions to the ensemble to accommodate the more isolated outings has been a definite plus, but I am hopeful that we can return for a bit more exploration next winter as we were unable to this year.

We have to be back to Canada by April 12th, and we will be landing back in Sweetgrass Montana as we have an appointment in Okotoks that will take up 4 out of every 8 days for the following 5 1/2 months.

That should shock the system adequately - by then, Arizona/California should be hitting the mid to high 90s F, and occasionally tag into the 100s. Meanwhile, our arrival should in Alberta should find us shaking of the last few deposits of snow, and hoping that really soon it thaws enough to turn on the water supply.

The upside will be that shore power and individual sewer dump will be back in our world, and eventually the water will catch up when thawing permits, but it should jar the system somewhat, don't you think? :-)

Midnight has put a lot of though into this matter, and decided to get clipped now so that he will be cooler for the up coming warming trend, and yet have enough time to grow out his coat for the chilly return. He has also requested that the Easter Bunny bring him a winter coat. (We didn't tell him, but his wish was granted. It even has a nice collar that can be raised to protect the neck and back of the head while accommodating the leash through a slot - and it has 2 reflector bands, and is wind proof. - not bad for $15) I will get a shot of it later, but for now, use your mind's eye.

As for Glory, she has declared that as long as we ensure to keep the furnaces running at appropriate temperatures, she will allow the relocation of her house. She is only granted a window seat to the outside anyway.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Roads

A common problem in Canada is weathering of the roads. This is particularly a problem during spring thaw.

The roads and the beds on which they are placed go through a bit of chaos as they freeze, thaw unevenly, freeze again, and slowly reach the status of thawed for the season. In the meantime, large and small vehicles rolling at high speeds over them cause buckling, cracking, and general wear, then moisture seeps into cracks, and deterioration is the result.

One would think, (and I was one of those ones not so long ago) that without the freezing, roads here would fair better, other than occasional flash floods.

Well, the floods are definitely a factor, but I did not realize that another contributor to the lack of longevity to the local roads is heat, not freezing. After all, when the temperature goes up to 120 F and the roads are black, the likelihood of melt and reset becomes much more prevalent.

As for the roads in our immediate vicinity, they have gone through a familiar low budget repair process here. The high (by local standards) rains have caused phenomenal pitting and potholing, and after several weeks of driving over them, we were relieved to come home on filled hollows.

By low budget, I mean this:

A truck full of loose asphalt drives to the scene of repair, then however many crew members are spared for the process start shoveling it into the craters. Then, the more creative crews use their truck tires to pack it down. The less creative folks stamp on it.

If the locals are fortunate enough, the heat and other traffic will solidify the efforts, although I have also seen it have the reverse affect, and within 2 weeks, the gaping crater returns.

I have my fingers crossed.

Anyway, having shared my new found knowledge, I am inclined to call it a full day.

Adieu.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Olympics

Olympic fever seems to be everywhere, and all the blogs I follow have mentioned them. So here are my few words on them.

Go Canada, Go!! I am told we got our first gold, I watched the silver run for lady's moguls.

I hear the opening ceremonies were awesome, and I also heard of the terrible tragedy during training of the luge. My sincerest condolences to the family, friends, teammates, and the nation.

Overall, I really have never been much for sports though, so I will be delighted to hear the final score, and I hope all goes well for all those people from and going to the Vancouver area to take in the show.

As for me, I am quite pleased with my vantage point. - less traffic and crowding :-)

Hey, I notice today that there is a bit of grass growing around the rig. Who knew we would have a spring lawn??!! (It is merely stubble, but hey, it's green)

Well, it is getting late, so

Adieu

Friday, February 12, 2010

Generators and Trucks

The temperature is slowly climbing, and we are expecting low 80s this week. It is amazing to see what the east coast, and even Texas is coming up with right now. I think even though our neighbours are saying this is the worst, and rainiest year they have seen in 16 years, I can honestly say this is the best "worst weather" we have experienced yet.

One of the issues we do contend with here is dust and sand. Vacuuming is always on the to do list, even when you just finished.

We are very pleased with the solar panels, but they still are best for day power, and as the days lengthen, it takes us into early evening. Nonetheless, because we are running a thirsty tv and dvd player most nights, we usually run the generator.

The diesel genset was doing an awesome job right up to the point where it quit. It is still under warranty, and the fellow we bought it from will be fixing it for us when we return in the spring to the Calgary/Okotoks area of Alberta, but in the meantime, we had to get a gas genset. It is a nice unit, and much cheaper than what it would have been in Canada.

I'm not sure what is up, but here on the ridge, about 4 fridges and another 4 gens have given their owners grief. Most have gotten past them, but it was a strange thing seeing such a run of misfortune in such a short period of time.

Another matter that we are working on resolving is the lack of comfort with the safety in towing as mentioned in an earlier post.

In the next few days or so we should be closer to the answer. We have decided to look into a short wheel based single axle daycab style semi. Stay tuned.

I have returned to the laundry pile, so I must see how the drying is going.

On that note, I bid you

Adieu

Monday, February 8, 2010

Cool and Sunny - By Arizona Standards

Another sunny cooler day is upon us and I find myself in the laundry pile again. With the smaller drum, you can't help but cross these fairly frequently.

I was surprised to see that 2 days ago the reservoir was drained down for irrigation. With the impromptu lakes still visible, and the crop fields very clearly mud bound, I would have thought they would have been able to omit the flood the field stage of this round of crops. The water level is restored again though.

The other day (the one which found me cameraless for some reason) we saw a flock of about 15 or so pelicans fly over. It was a really neat sight.

I'm told, however that spring has not truly arrived here until you see the turkey vultures fly over in large flocks. Then the heat will seriously return to the region. I hope the camera is in hand for that one!

As for the unusually high rains, it is starting to have its affect on the flora of the region. It is very subtle right now, but if you look closely (no picture, use your mind's eye) the surrounding hills and roadside plains have just a thin skimming of green. The sproutings are still very small, but it brings promise of a potentially amazing display of desert flowers in the near future. Now that, I want my camera on!!

Anyway, the laundry needs hanging, so I bid you

Adieu

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Cool Shot!!

After I signed off, I decided to try the nearly impossible on a digital "instant" camera - to catch a flash.

It is no where near perfect - the background is doubled, and I don't know if I shook, or the flash altered the silhouette, but the flash is unmistakeable! (Caught just before midnight)


I can't deny, I am really quite impressed :-)

'Nuff said. I will now bid you,

Adieu

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Lightening Storm Tonight

Well, hello. I apologize for my absence the last few days. We have been busy, but rather like a hamster on a wheel rather than actual notable things.

In all, we have gone to town nearly daily, and then when back on the ridge, kind of grabbed quiet time when we could.

The one thing I would like to note is some advice on traveling and exploring. It seems, through our travels that the best way to get prime weather and ideal conditions where you go......

is to stay the heck away from Ken and I. LOL

Having experienced Yuma area's entire annual rainfall in a 2 day period last week, we are now having another full day of light rainfall, intermittently and just now we saw our first (2) flashes of lightening with resounding rumbles of thunder.

I'm not sure if it is an actual record year, but at the very least, it is abnormal. (3rd flash just glinted, and the rumble was a full 5 seconds delayed) This has been the pattern for the last 3 years. No matter where we go, we hear, " We never get weather like this!!" (4th flash, rumble only about 2 seconds off)

Ah, well. We enjoyed today's contributions. It beat the dust down. Interesting to note though, some of the larger flooded low lands still haven't drained since the deluge. (5th flash and rumble 2 seconds off, and a 6th with rumble about the same)

I always like storms at night. They make it cozy. *yawn* (7th flash, distant rumble, and rain tempo on rubber room increasing)

I hear a snuggly blanket, an 8th flash and a 1 second delayed rumble calling me, so I will bid you

Adieu. :-) (9th)

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Chores With Company

We stayed home today and pottered around. Among the things I got done was the perpetual build of laundry. It wasn't bad, but at the same time, a 5 - 8 pound load doesn't go far. (8 pounds because I line dry out here).

So the drying is very effective due to temperatures in the low to mid 70's F with slight breezes.

Taking the laundry down is always a minor by time consuming task that was made much more pleasant today because a companion joined me. We chatted back and forth, and he sat and observed and supervised the folding process.

He got a bit fluffed for a brief spell, but then resumed his advise in a great mood. I think he was one of my more frequent visiting hummingbirds. He landed on a tree about 2 feet away from the laundry umbrella. He fluffed, scratched, chirped, caulked his head, glanced around, took a quick trip to the feeder, and returned to tell me how his meal went. (I know it wasn't a complaint because the feeder was full.) :-)

When I finished, he followed me back for one more quick sip before going off on his own.

It sure made the task much more enjoyable.

Well, the next task has presented itself, and I must prepare the evening meal, so I bid you,

Adieu.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Lessons of a Desert Landscape

Yesterday was a fairly warm day, and we tended some chores, then took some time for a bit of a run on the mopeds.

When stationary, it was very warm, but when moving at a moped clip, you could definitely feel a chilling bite in the air. We puttered up the mesa, then back the other way to Squaw Lake. The sun hit the water with stunning glitter. There was a flock of local ducks swimming on it, and a few palm trees along its shores.

Some of the palms were still short enough to stand right in the frond umbrella, and I noticed for the first time that these trees too, had rather a dangerous side to them. On the length of the branch leading to the leaves was a bilateral ridge of curated "teeth".


One thing about the desert flora is that nearly all of it has some means of protection, and Midnight is being forced into an acceptance that a dog's natural instinct to "water the plants" is being denied, least he should spike a region more sensitive than most to the barbs of an unfriendly trunk or branch.






On our way back, I noticed a few trunks of former palm trees, and was fascinated by the cross-section. With most trees one is used to seeing the usual rings of growth, but these trees were different. There was a degree of rings to it, but more noticeable was a much more predominant presence of tubes.




It almost reminded me of a sea anemone. It occurred to me that as water is a scarce commodity to the plants of the area, any tree had best find a way to quickly capitalize on any contributions to its intake. With these tubule structures, the capillary action of the trunk would definitely be put into the express lane. It was quite enlightening.

The discoveries and learnings of the day were marred by one further find by the roadside. Apparently fairly recently a battle was fought and lost by one of the resident burros. All that was left to mark its failure was a hind leg below the knee, with only bone and sinew remaining until just below the lower leg joint where the fur and flesh remained in tact down to the atrophied hoof. I believe it was an adult.

It was a very sad reminder that among the beauty and uniqueness of the area we currently make our home, the life struggles continue for the non-civilized side of existence out here.

To blur the image slightly, the mother and small babe that we saw on the day of the large herd visiting was visible on the nearby peaks near the water tower, going about daily routines and processes in the late afternoon. Life marched on without the fallen member.

As I ponder the day past, I bid you

Adieu.

Editor's note: I have been able to put pictures in again, but now I must go back and be sure that all previous pictures still are linked.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Birds Versus Wasps

Well, the weather, though cool (mid to high 60's F)is restored to relative norms. The sun is shining, and we actually have a lull in the breezes/winds.

The hummingbirds continue to enjoy the feeder, but are now dealing with intense competition in the form of wasps. They engulf the base of the feeder, and often, the hummers are hesitant to land. I'm sure with their slight size, a sting could likely be fatal.

I have put up a wasp trap, but am still struggling with a means of keeping the wasps off while allowing full access to the birds.

I know that insects breath through pores in their abdomens, (the rear portion of their 3 part bodies)so I tried putting a layer of dish soap on the base of the feeder so that they can't land without clogging their air intake, but once it dries (very quickly here) they are right back at it.

My wasp trap, only having been up 2 days, has nonetheless, trapped at least a couple dozen wasps, though, and yesterday in frustration, I simply attacked them with a fly swatter anytime I saw them landing on the bird feeder.

Apparently, another local bird appreciated my efforts, as at dusk I witnessed a few of them happily grazing on the 20 or 30 odd fatalities at the base of the feeder. I think that they are a Cedar Waxwing. Oh bother. I am finding it very limiting to be out of space for pictures.

Anyway, the day is beginning and I must join it so I bid you,

Adieu.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Aftermath

Well, the storms seemed to blow itself out around 9:30 last night. We sure were rocking during some of the bigger gusts. As one of the fellows I met at the dumping station this morning put it, "It was raining sideways".

Since I have been 3 days overdue to do laundry, I decided that it would be easier to take it to my parent's place and that way I could make a visit of it, and I wouldn't have to haul away the water afterwards.

We dashed in and started the first load, then "quickly" ran a couple of errands - top up on all 3 fuels (diesel, unleaded (bikes) and propane) then grabbed a bite, and a couple things from Walmart. We got back to the laundry around 2:30 and started the second load.

The second load included our sheets, so I put those in the dryer, but left the other items on the clothesline where they got mostly dry in spite of the spitting rain that attempted to foil their efforts. Tomorrow will be drier, so I should be able to hang and finish the process tomorrow.

All that aside, getting into Yuma revealed the results of the previous day's efforts by the forces of nature. We passed several washouts, and noted that the next section over from us on the Wash, Skunk Hollow, was nearly half drowned, and 3 trailers are stranded, 1 of which was actually about ankle deep at the door.

Fortunately, most of the areas we had to go were affected minimally by the storm, so other than a couple lane dodges, our path was clear.

Another matter that recently crossed our path was one that was bridged in an earlier post. Medical coverage.

As stated in said post, a friend had a fluke accident, and was wise enough to have coverage. She is healing well, and the injury was covered by medical.

However, we now have heard from a friend (our Oliver neighbour last year) who was going to be connecting with us shortly, and spending the duration of the snowbird season with us here at the Wash.

Their plans have substantially changed due to an accident on Sunday. He was out quadding in the dunes and hit a soft spot that caved in on him. He rolled the quad and as it crossed over him, broke his scapula (shoulder blade) and a rib or two. They splurged, and got him x-rayed ($1000 later) and confirmed the breaks and that fortunately, there were no punctures or internal bleeding. The pain is severe though.

They are now bee-lining it back to Abbotsford where his daughter lives. There, they will re-diagnose, and treat - likely with surgery - and start recovery. In the meantime, the bones are attempting to mend themselves, hopefully not poorly. Said bee-line has been delayed by the storms in California, and they can't take the mountain passes. I think they were finally able to make some headway today, but I won't know until they get to Vancouver.

This to me is further confirmation that if you plan to travel internationally, medical coverage should not be neglected or considered optional.

So those are my thoughts today, and I bid you

Adieu.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Storms

I am curious why for the last 3 years, everywhere we go we are told, "We never get weather like this."

We have a tornado warning, and terrible winds and rain. Before the storm is over, it is predicted that there may be as much as 4 - 5 inches of rain. I know that it doesn't sound like it is that much, especially for coastal areas of Canada, but as the news cast stated, this area's total annual rainfall is usually 4 inches.

Our Senator's Wash region is currently in a lull, the rain and wind has let up, but is waiting to kick up again shortly. I even witnessed a waterfall form on the Southwest ridge of the Mesa over the reservoir.

Another sight which was a bit sad was seeing humming birds looking like drowned rats making a bid for some calories in the wind and rain. Some were blown quite a bit off course. I actually added some sirup for a boost. I checked the label for contents to be sure it was not a chemical nightmare first, but I wanted the sips to have a punch. They have to consume their body weight in a day to keep themselves charged.

Another challenge to the day was that poor Midnight, whom I took out for his morning constitutional, was so bothered by the intensity of the weather, that he wouldn't tend to business. I finally got him to relent at 3:15, after holding since about 9:30 last night!! He is definitely feeling a whole lot better now.

I have taken some pictures of the day, but as blogger has informed me that I have exceeded my picture capacity right now, I will have to consider how to upload them at another time.

It has also been intriguing to watch the colour shifts on the water in the reservoir. The main colours were mud brown and sea green, but the division line was very distinct between the two, and shifted around all day.

The majority of the news coverage tonight was about all the flash flooding, sandbagging efforts, and tornado, lightening and wind warnings. In general, it has been an intense day.

On that note, I bid you

Adieu.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Pie

Note to self, make sure you have all ingredients and components before you start the process. Failing that you might consider high scale modification. I finally put off procrastinating on outside chores, and got on with my delayed pie brewing.

I confess, I was putting it off on account of I had never done one from scratch before and was dreading the "try not to curdle it" recipes. I braved it today and here is the end result.


Just for the sake of amusement, you can note that I honestly thought I had a pie a plate, I really did. Apparently, I have always used pre-made shells in their own foil plate. I confess to using a pre-made shell for this one too, but it came rolled up, and without pie plate.

The frying pan was a stainless steel, not teflon, so I thought, what the hay. It turned out quite well, too. (... and I will be picking up a couple pie plates the next time I go to town)

Anyway, I will now bid you

Adieu

Editor's Note: I was asked to include a shot of the cut pie, and I took the shot, but apparently, blogger says I have exceeded my picture posting limit.
Posted by Picasa

Friday, January 15, 2010

More Burros


Today was another putter about town day. We ran into both our neighbours while milling about. You know you are localized to a town when you recognize people while shopping.

We then visited with family in town, and had a nice leisurely afternoon.

When we got home, we brought in the day's purchases, and looked down the ridge to see the biggest herd of burros yet. There were a total of 15 just casually sauntering down the way, including 2 very young ones. One we see often, but the other is new to me, and only about a couple months old.


Isn't he cute, still baby fluffy.

A lot of the burros are relatively gentle, but it is recommended by the park staff that you admire them from a distance. They are still wild animals, even though they are familiar with people. They can kick, bite, and in general go from gentle to wild bronco in a blink.

One should always treat wild and feral animals with due respect. They are always capable of unpredictable behavior. It is a matter of safety.

In other matters, we have been dealing with some setbacks that are worth noting, and are relatively easy to avoid in future.

We have dealt with wind in many places, but here in the desert, it is unique in that the wind is often accompanied by very fine dust. It has succeeded in temporarily stopping our generator and a compressor, and we will be very frequently blowing out our truck's air filter. We will cure the problem with very detailed cleaning of the mechanisms. In the meantime, the advise has been given by my father that any mechanical devices should be draped in plastic when not in use as the dust gets deeply into machines, even when they aren't running. One minute they are working, and the next, stopped dead.

There are other progressions afoot right now, but I will get to those in a future post. In the meantime, I bid you

Adieu.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Wandering Thoughts

We have had a really good start to January. There have been some cooler days, and some cloudy days, but cool has not been below the mid to low 50's F and the clouds have contributed to some awesome evening views.

We have done a bit of rearranging of the living room as it has always needed a personalization that we didn't feel comfortable taking on yet.

We finally bit the bullet and evicted the couch. It sat in the passenger side slide. It was very uncomfortable because it reclined too much for its low back, and just wasn't working for us.

By removing it, it has allowed us to move the recliners into the alcove of the slide (we are still looking to trade out my swivel rocking recliner for a more space economic non-rocking recliner, but until then we are making due.

The problem with the old recliners (Ken replaced his with one we had in storage) is that although they are comfortable, as mentioned, they swivel, rock and recline. Because of how the rig was designed, every time you want to draw in the slides, both have to be manipulated into the very back section, swung sideways, and butted up to the valance to keep them clear of the two slides. Although they aren't too heavy, if you go to lift them, the rocker prevents easy lift, and in general, bull strength and will finally succeed completing the relocation.

They you reverse the process to set up again. UG!

With the chairs in the couch's alcove, we now have an awesome view out the rear window where we have attached the humming bird feeder. Since the window is privacy glass, they don't see us as easily as they would with normal glass, and this affords us the opportunity for nice pictures, and views. (I even get to see the sassy little blighters sticking their tongues out) :-)

Life is good! Well, for now I bid you,

Adieu

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Another Hummingbird

On a nothing doin' kind of day, this lovely lady showed up to have a bit of lunch. She is much braver than her beautiful ruby throated, emerald backed male counter-part.





Anyway, I must get back to the chores she is distracting me from, so I bid you

Adieu
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Monday, January 4, 2010

Sights To Behold

I don't have much to say, but I sure have seen some sights these last few days!!









We have only had the feeder up for 3 days and 1 evening. they started coming from the second evening, and even adjusted to a relocation on day 2. Amazing little wonders, these hummingbirds!

Well, the night is closing in, so I bid you,

Adieu
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Saturday, January 2, 2010

Lemons

There are many things that are commonplace for the local people, but a wonder to behold for the transient folk that wander various parts of the world. Yuma and similar areas are no different.

One of the things with which the locals like to impress the visitors are the sizes of some of the local produce that doesn't make it to market by the assorted importing companies. An example of said produce that is easily found here, are the ever so common lemon.

Everyone with even the slightest awareness of said fruit will picture a yellow item with skin similar in texture to an orange, and nearly round, except for the stem and opposite end, which jut out slightly from the otherwise circular fruit. Rather common and unnoteworthy, except in noting that it make a great summer drink, topper to assorted fish, awesome tangy pie, a finger degreaser for such delights as barbecued spare ribs, and perhaps a mild flavour supplement to any plainer drink, leaded, or unleaded.

Therefore, it is my great pleasure to introduce you to the ones that miss the market, but are equally capable of attaining the same culinary and supplementary affect, but with far less quantity, shall we say:

BEHOLD, THE LEMON


(No, really, it is not a squash)


With a bit of processing, I converted a single lemon into nearly 2 cups of pulpy lemon juice. Further, after cutting out the 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick white portion - rind, I think EDITOR'S NOTE: White is the Pith - Thanks Rae :-)
(which resides between the zest and the juice sacks) The pile in cling wrap on the left represents the skin ripe for the zesting.


With the additional process of finely grating the skin, a substantial amount of zest for such creations as lemon meringue pie is attained - the juice is still 2 cups with pulp.


And after a large amount of manual mashing through a strainer, voila. 1-1/2 cups of juice, and about a half cup of zest, all from one lemon.

Now what do you think of your common, store friendly little fruit? If I am really brave, and otherwise unoccupied, I might just brave the creation of said lemon Meringue pie.

If I should dare, I will be sure to share the end result with you, in visage, if not by taste.

But for now, I bid you,

Adieu

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Friday, January 1, 2010

Scenery shots

I thought I'd put a shot or two of some evening shots:


Moon rising on New Year's Eve


Sunset down by Yuma Lakes (These 2 shots)


It was even more beautiful than the shots show.

Happy New Year, and for now I bid you,

Adieu