Thursday, October 30, 2014

Good Fences (Thursday)

My first attempt at playing with the Good Fences meme.
I sure hope this works.

This is not technically a fence, but rather marks the edge to alert people from falling over the sides.  But it was kind of like a fence and if this attempt to join the meme works...I'll do better next time.

Jean...please let me know if this was done correctly and if not, what I'm doing wrong.

Long Live the Queen 

The death of a camera

The camera suddenly died a tragic death yesterday, it will not power up at all.  It has been acting very sluggish and with long delays in shooting lately, so apparently it's been on its way down.

I did think about hooking it up to the new jumper cables, but dismissed that thought.

I've wanted to purchase a small camera for ease of carrying anyway, and it would be good to have as a backup since I'll have to leave this one for service.

So, no new photos until this is fixed.

All goes well with pickleball and line dancing.  I've been eating less and yet gaining...not sure how that's happening.

Long Live the Queen

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Rubbish Tuesday

Rubbish Tuesday

I'm not sure if I totally understand how to do these meme's, but the Rubbish Tuesday one called to me since I like old junk.

While on a surprise hike recently I came across these containers at the top of the hill I was climbing.  I call it a surprise hike since I didn't plan to go up the hill, but there it was and soon I was at the top.

Long Live the Trashy Queen

Monday, October 27, 2014

Flowers around the park

The flowers blooming here are so lovely, so I'll just interject them here and there as I talk about my day.

After enjoying a rousing game of pickleball and a hot shower, we jumped in the car and drove into Hemet.  This was a two-fold mission.  First, we wanted to see what the driving conditions would be like for the RV on this road.  Second, we wanted to scout out the park we'll be staying at when we leave here.  

The unexpected bonuses were having a tasty Mexican lunch and stopping at Bed Bath and Beyond, where I found a new dutch oven that will work on my new induction cookplate when it arrives.  More on that later.

We got back in time to go to the ice cream float social hour and stayed for the meeting of what's coming up at the park.

These roses are blooming in our yard....and yes, they are scented and smell glorious.

By the time that was over it was time to release the beasts into the tent and tunnel system for some outside time.

I love these lazy days.

Long Live the Queen of Desert Flowers

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Lazy Sunday in the Park

It's Sunday and Left Brain is watching Football on TV and I did four loads of zen laundry.  They have hanging lines and I was thrilled to be able to put my clothes up on the lines in the sunshine.  It's kind of a meditative thing for me and I seem to channel my grandmother while doing it.  

Then I took Gracie for a walk around the park.  She continues to amaze me with how well she's doing on the leash.  George...not so much.  

Since the weather is not so stifling hot today, I then went for a stroll with the camera by myself.  I had no intention of climbing to the top of the hill, but found myself up there with no idea how to get back down.

Yup...that hill up there.
But that didn't concern me too much since the view was incredible and there was a lovely breeze.   Once up here I could see how enormous this park is, considering it was built and is maintained by volunteers.

This is just the center portion - I can't get it all in one photo
I kept a close eye out for rattlesnakes as the signs posted nearby state that both the mother and baby snakes are active right now.  It would be just my luck to get bit by some foolish youngster.

This is a view of the left side of the park

This is the right side of the park
Those three buildings pretty much make up the nearby city of Aguanga
Getting up was easy, but I had no idea how to get down.  There's supposed to be a trail of some sort, but I kind of forged my own way.  Soon I was snapping photos for people to enjoy after finding my lifeless body in the future.

Oh there's the trail...down there.  Oh well, too late now since I was already own way.

Nice view of our RV from up here - complete once again with the awning repaired.

Left Brain was completing an online order (since we have landed long enough to have things shipped) so I am awaiting my new cooking set up.  I've decided to give the personal induction cooking a try.  More about this later with an explanation of what it is, why it's desired and of course with photos.

He made some BBQ chicken on the grill for lunch and since the temperatures allow for cooking, I put together my Green & White Lasagna for later.  It's basically just cheese and spinach with lasagna noodles and is a nice meatless alternative.

Later that afternoon when it was nice and quiet I gave George a spin on the leash and he surprised me with how well he did.  He just doesn't do well with all the distractions during the day.  So George...I apologize for that earlier comment.

Long Live the Lazy Queen

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Aguanga CA

At pickleball this morning I learned that Greek Fest was this weekend in Temecula, the larger town to the west of us.  We both love Greek food so off we went.

I wanted to photo the metal horses in the distance to show a better size relation.

This was our first glance at the horses cavorting on the hillside.

Here's a little closer view ...traffic doesn't allow for stopping to get a better shot.
As you can see, they are visible from quite a distance.
After stuffing ourselves with Greek delicacies we stopped to do a little retail therapy.  Both of us needed some new shoes and I could feel the pavement pounding when playing pickleball.  I decided to go a little wilder than I normally do and ended up with this pair...which is quite tame compared to some I've seen.

On the way back I snapped some more photos of the metal sculptures that adorn this stretch of road.

The inside of the stage coach has a cowboy and a lady passenger.

We went into the park where more of them are located, but since they were having a weekend Halloween festival it was suggested we come back Monday through Thursday when it's nice and quiet.  So more photos will be coming later on that.

The afternoon was spent enjoying the breeze under our newly fixed awning.  Left Brain found a repairman to come out to the park and do the repairs right here, no need to pack up everything and drive that horrid road again in See-More.

I'm getting some ideas for a new tent cover for George and Gracie.  Since rain isn't much of a threat here, I could do something in lighter colors to offer them some shade.

Long Live the Queen of Aguanga

Friday, October 24, 2014

We are in Jojoba Hills SKP Park

The trip was uneventful...just the way I like it.  It was only the last 20 miles that felt insane with narrow twisty roads and no shoulder and I was so glad he was the one driving.  I also made him drive through LA, so I never took the wheel yesterday.  We noticed these cool metal sculptures on our way in and I look forward to photographing more of them.

We are settled in and learning about everything there is to do here in Jojoba Hills SKP park.  It has been called the crown jewel of the SKP parks, and I believe it.

I love these big smooth rocks.

Friday morning I went bright and early to play pickleball.  It officially starts at 8:00, but I found people there at 7:30 and I understand's really hot here by noon.

After two and a half hours of sweaty fun on the court I went to the line dance class.  It may have been just a bit too much to combine both of these in one morning.  Also the line dance on Friday is more for intermediate and advanced, so I'll try the beginners one on Wednesday and see how it goes.

The park is very hilly, but gorgeous with all the plantings and pools and ponds here and there. 

I have found that putting up the cat village gets immediate attention and in less than 24 hours I have been named the Cat Lady.

Left Brain has a repair person coming over this afternoon to look at the awning and see if they can fix it.  Some shade here would be most welcome so keep your fingers crossed.

Long Live the Queen of Jojoba Hills

Thursday, October 23, 2014

From one extreme to the other

Today's journey finds us stopping for the night just north of Los Angeles and paying $50 for the night since internet is an add-on fee.  But it's a lovely park and a pull through spot, so this is nice.  And after Left Brain did some minor adjustments  with the hook up, the car battery seems to be holding nicely. It starts right up, so we can actually leave it attached to get the full benefit of having a pull-through spot...what a unique concept!

To celebrate the nicer area with grass and concrete patio I busted out the longer tunnel for the cats, but no tent and chairs since we're still moving.  It's 86 degrees as I write this and we're sweating and smiling.  Gone is the cold and drizzle of the Pacific Northwest and we're back among palm trees and dry heat.

No crashes today, but I did get to make one incredible U-turn with the RV and car attached.  I know my friends Beth and Marti would be proud of me...I'm kind of famous for my U-turn abilities.  It's so good having Left Brain behind the wheel again as we wouldn't be putting this many miles behind us with just me driving.

We've only about 150 miles to get into Jojoba Hills SKP park tomorrow.  We called to check on availability (no reservations are accepted) and it looks promising, so we want to arrive early in the day.  They have four pickleball courts and I'm hoping to find some fellow players.

Our reservations for our park in Hemet don't begin until November 15th, so this will fill in nicely.

Long Live the Queen of Almost There

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

California here we come!

We decided to leave the SKP park a day early since rain is forecast and we have 900 miles to go to our next destination.

I learned a valuable lesson as I drove the car to the dumpsters before hooking up.  We like to put the trash on the hood of the car as we tend to forget it if we put it inside the car.  The smell is unpleasant.  There was water on the windshield and without thinking I hit the wipers.
Whooosh!  The trash bag went up and followed the arc of the wiper blade until it did a dismount on the left side, spilling garbage all over the road.  It could have been worse; the other bag was about 20 pounds of cat doo-doo from the litter genie.  If that split…well, I don’t want to even think about it.

Lesson two learned that morning was when I picked up all the trash, put it back in the bag and placed it once more on top of the hood.  Then I jumped in to drive the rest of the way to the trash bins, but I couldn’t see.  There was this big white bag of junk blocking my view.  Note to self…put this bag on the passenger side of the car and away from the wipers.

Feeling confident the worst was behind me I started to hook the car to the motorhome when Left Brain let me know that my closet door just fell off.  Thankfully, George always hides next to the bed and no cats were harmed in this latest mishap.

one to go

I started out the day by driving about 100 miles over a little more than a two and half hour period….up through the mountain range.  Lots of going up the hill with the trucks at very slow speeds with the flashers going. The terrain is starting to look much different now.

At noon we found a spot for gassing up at $2.99 a gallon and Left Brain took the wheel.  He feels ready and I’m getting much more comfortable with driving, but really needed a break.  Soon we crested 4310 feet, the highest elevation on I-5.  It’s all downhill from here.

When we needed a place to park for the night we were looking for a pull through and inexpensive.  I had to chuckle at the reviews I noticed about the park we chose.  One said “keep driving” and the other just said “Deliverance”.  Well, I take these with a grain of salt and the price was right, so onward we went.

When we pulled in I could almost hear the banjos beginning to tune up….and then I went inside this charming establishment.
The owner obligingly put his cigarette down in the tin can with a notch cut out to hold it while he registered me.  Normal rate is $35, but with Passport America it’s $17.50 and may still be overpriced at that.  I told him I wanted a level pull through and he said they are all the same.  When I countered him that the ones when we first pulled up looked pretty slanted he just said “whatever one you want darling”.  My eyes were starting to burn from all the cigarette smoke and I couldn’t wait to get out of there.

As I left the office the two others sitting on the porch (no banjos in sight yet, but I don’t think they were far away) commented on our motorhome with “Nice rig”.  Granted, there were a lot of Halloween decorations, but I don’t think that’s what made this place look scary.

Once safely ensconced in my RV I turned to Left Brain and told him that if he had said I had a pretty mouth we’d have to leave quickly.  Note to Marti:  this place made the one in Las Vegas look like an oasis.

I hauled the fallen door out of the bedroom into our spacious living room and accessed the damage.  Left Brain unscrewed the remaining part of the door and we reassembled it with some glue and then I put straps on both ends while the glue sets up.  No way is this going to be enough to support the weight, so we’ll leave it off until we can buy some mending plates to fortify it further.

The cats are in their “traveling tubes” which consist of a mere 15 feet of tunnel, so we’re all roughing it during these next few travel days.  Unless we find an area we want to explore more, we plan to just use casinos or whatever cheap lodging we can find along the way until we arrive at our destination.

Why does my shadow look so much slimmer than I really am?

Once again, the car battery was totally flat out dead.  My new little charger didn't do a thing to it.  Left Brain put the trickle charger on it overnight, but perhaps because of the thunderstorm it prevented it from working properly.

We lost the TV due to the storm.  The cell signal was so low that internet was not possible, so about 8:30 PM we went to bed out of boredom.

Long Live the Queen of Creepy Campgrounds

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Talking Turkey

Gracie is getting very good at walking in the leash now.  As soon as she sees her harness and leash she starts meowing and spinning.  I really wonder if she has some dog in her.

That's when we saw the huge jackrabbits.  She didn't try to go near them which is good, because they looked larger than she is.  Of course, with a cat in the hand I had no camera.

But, I did manage to get a photo of the six turkeys that came walking through the yards later that day to prove that they really do exist.  I probably could have gotten closer since they showed no fear, but those are some really big birds and I was more afraid of them than they were of me.

Thanksgiving must be coming....I'm developing a craving for some turkey and mashed potatoes.

Long Live the Queen of Dumb Clucks

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Covered Bridges

There are a series of covered bridges in the area, and since the weather was nice we went in search of the one nearest to us.

When cars went over it the wooden boards all shook and rattled and made quite a noise.

It was fun to see some of these unusual landmarks that seem to be disappearing all too quickly from our landscape.

Long Live the Queen

Fish stories

On one of our trips into Roseburg we stopped to see the fish viewing area.

I wasn't sure what to expect, but this was pretty cool.

They have build a series of fish ladders with small pools for them to rest in before attempting the next jump as they make their way upstream to spawn.  There are windows in an underground viewing area, but with the condensation on the windows, the photos didn't look like I'll spare you those.

This time of year it's primarily the Chinook salmon making the journey.  We met this guy hanging out in the large pool waiting for the last big leap.

We hung around for a while to see what he'd do, but fish viewing is a lot like watching laundry spin and after a while we gave up and left him to his own devices.

Long Live the Fisher Queen

Friday, October 17, 2014

Life at Timber Valley

These were our first visitors while in the Timber Valley SKP Park.  There were four of them, but this was the only one that didn't turn out blurry.  I never thought I'd see the day when I'd be photographing deer as they were such a common occurrence in our old house.

Then I heard the sound of....what is that?  Turkeys? Yup....unfortunately I was without the camera at that point, so you'll just have to take my word for it.  

The cats are very happy to have the complete set up again since we booked to stay here for a week.

They have all 42 feet of the tunnel, the tent and their little beds in place.  

We have a huge site with a nice concrete patio so unless it's continually rainy I will be setting up our good chairs to enjoy some downtime while here.  An awning would be nice...but we still need to get that fixed.

This morning we took the car back to the Honda dealer and have regained our ability to use the windshield squirter when we hit icky roads and weather.  That's a relief.  I've had fears of suddenly not being able to see if mud is splashed up on us with the inability to clean the windshield.

The portable battery charger has been plugged in for its 36 hours required, so we should be good to go with it as well.

Left Brain starts his new meds today and the pharmacist warned him it could cause dizziness, so I'm still the primary driver.

I saw this traffic warning on Facebook and just had to share it.

Long Live the Queen