A cool little purchase…

When I was in San Diego staying with my kids, my daughter-in-law, Trish, had a diffuser.  She has all kinds of oils that she uses for various things – they seem to help different aliments, moods, etc.  I had heard of diffusers, but hadn’t seen one in action.

I was still getting over my flu – which I now think was bronchitis.   I was feeling great, but had this dumb little cough that I couldn’t seem to get over.  I mentioned it to Trish, and she got out her diffuser and put the correct essential oil into the water and turned it on.

I realized the next day that I hadn’t coughed since the previous day:  the night before – no coughing, and the next day – no coughing.  There must be something to these essential oils other than smelling good.  Which, actually, would be enough for me, but the healing properties of the scented air wafting around the room is an added bonus.

I told her I was going to buy a diffuser, and she gifted me with my favorite of all my oils.  (Not that many really, I still want a few more.)  The one she gave me is Christmas Spirit, by Young Living.  It smells SO GOOD!

As soon as I got settled in New Mexico and had an address, I ordered this diffuser on-line:

There are so many to choose from, different sizes, colors, functions, materials and prices. This one is only $22.99.  Plus rocks/soil and plants/faux foliage.  🌿🎍🌿

The thing that was different about this one is the space where you can put some soil and little plants.  I saw photos where people had small live plants, grass, etc. growing, and that was my plan.  But then I thought, I’m in the high desert, really dry air, very small planting area.  I’d be watering it all the time, trimming it, and having to be SO careful that I didn’t knock it over.

As I was walking through Walmart, I noticed the faux succulents they had for sale – $1.98 each.  Four of those and another plant stem with little white flowers that I cut up to add in between and a bag of pretty rocks, and waa-laa!

I love it.

These are my current crop of essential oils:  Tea Tree, Rosemary, Eucalyptus, (all blended with Coconut Oil), Sweet Orange, Lavender, Frankincense, Breathe Easy (Eucalyptus, Basil, Tee Tree and Peppermint blend), and the middle one in the photo is the Christmas Spirit which is an Orange, Cinnamon and Black Spruce blend.

Mine – this model – has buttons on the front that you press for how long you want it to run – one hour, three hours, or six hours.   There’s also a lighted area around the diffuser – see the white line above?  Well, with different buttons pushed you can have white, red, blue green purple, or yellow in that lighted area when it’s turned on.

It’s easy to fill, easy to clean, and really cool to use.  I turn it on first thing every morning and six hours later, fill it again, and then maybe again till bedtime.  I love the different scents diffusing through The Palms.

I don’t know if  using these for different moods or health issues really works, but…

1. My cough went away.

2.  I was working on a project and couldn’t settle down and DO it.  I researched, and futzed around, read information, copied it into folders on the laptop for future reference, then researched more.  This went on for DAYS.

Then I thought:  I wonder if there’s an essential oil to help with concentration.  I looked it up and – Yes!  Frankincense helps to Stay Focused, Centered and Relaxed!  So I bought some – came back home, added a few drops to the water in the diffuser, sat down and finished my project.  Ha!  It worked!

Was I playing mind games with myself?  Who cares?  Whatever caused me to sit down and get the project done, mind games or essential oils, the project got done.

So, that’s my new thing.  I can’t really call it a toy or an RV mod, but it’s my new favorite thing and I wanted to tell you about it.

NOTE:  See my P.S. below for info about pets and essential oils.

Just in case you’re interested, here’s a link to where I got mine at Amazon.com:

There’s never a dull moment with me and my Wonderdog, Katie – some big changes are going on in The Palms lately.  I’ll tell you about those in the next post.

From Me and Katie, have a great weekend, everyone!

P.S.   My first two comments were about certain essential oils not being good for pets, so I did a bit of research and found a couple of good websites on this subject, and I’m sure there are more.  It turns out some essential oils are NOT good for pets, while others are BENEFICIAL.

Click on those links to learn more.    Organic Aromas    Essential Oil Vet

I’m glad I waited to post about Katie…

…because if I had posted last week, well, things were kind of grim then.  And now they’re looking up!

Katie has been having some issues, which I noticed most when she was sleeping right next to my pillow last December.  I could hear her heart beat so loud, so fast, so erratic.  I did some on-line research and got advice from friends whose dogs had died from heart issues.

We were in Arizona at the time and went to a new vet to have her examined on December 30.  He wanted to do so many tests and said he couldn’t give me a diagnosis unless I had all the tests performed, and it was going to be expensive.  We had a pretty good conversation about my options, one of which was to “wait and see and keep a close eye on her.”  That’s the option I chose.

And for a month things seemed fine.

The first week of February when we got to San Diego, Katie and I were parked in my son’s parking lot for his shop.  We got there on a Sunday and Katie couldn’t wait to go into the office to see Tom.  She went to the door, looked in and waited, but no one came to get her.  😟



When we got up Monday morning Tom’s car was there, so we got ready and went to the office door.  Tom saw us coming and met us at the door.  Katie was so excited.  She ran around all inside the shop office, she was so happy to see Tom.  Then when we were talking right outside his office door, I heard a strange moan/whine coming from the office, and Tom and I went in to see Katie on the floor.  She was laying on her side, making this strange noise, her four legs were stretched out and her head and neck were stretched up and to the side. Tom thought she had died.  I thought she was having a seizure.  We waited for a minute or so, talking to her and I knelt down next to her so she’d know I was there, if she was conscious.  It was pretty scary.

Slowly she came back to normal.  Her tail wagged and she got up slowly and very quickly was walking around again.

That was how it started, or at least my awareness of something REALLY being wrong.  I did a lot of on-line research and thought she had congestive heart failure (CHF).  I really thought I was going to lose her and was preparing myself.

Katie was fine the rest of the week we were in San Diego, and we left to travel to New Mexico on Friday afternoon.  All was well until the following Thursday night when I woke up at 2:00 am to Katie making that weird whining noise again, and I saw she was having another episode.

After it was over, I took her outside twice.  She wouldn’t let me lift her up into our bed on the bunk, so I pulled out the couch and got the bedding and we slept on the couch/bed for two nights.  It was too cold overnight to let her sleep by herself on the couch, and I wanted to be close just in case.

The next morning I made a Vet appointment at Sierra Veterinary Services (1607 N Date St. Truth or Consequences, NM 87901 – 575-894-6773) in TorC for the following Monday.

Katie’s vet there, Danielle Dawkins, DVM, examined her, took three x-rays of her chest, and said she was not yet in CHF, but she did have a significant heart murmur, it was so loud when she examined her chest that the vet couldn’t hear anything else going on, but she assumed Katie also was having kidney issues and was retaining fluids.  When she showed me the x-rays, she pointed out where she could see fluid.

She wasn’t sure from my explanation whether Katie was having seizures or fainting (syncope).  But after seeing her chest x-rays and the size of her heart, she said it was heart disease causing fainting, not a brain issue causing seizures.  Click on this link for a description of syncope.

She prescribed a heart pill, a water pill and Hills Prescription dog food, the k/d one which is low sodium.  Dr. Dawkins said either the heart or kidney dog food would work, both were low sodium and that’s what Katie needed.

Katie has a real problem eating anything but Royal Canin dog food for Chihuahuas – anything else gives her intestinal issues, and she vomits up the food and has diarrhea.  But she has to eat a low sodium food now, so we were going to have to change things up.  This was going to be fun!  Dr. Dawkins warned me the water pill would have her drinking more water and going potty more.  Night and Day.

When she started with the new meds and food (1/3 new food to 2/3 old food to start) we were getting up in the freezing cold nights a time or two, once three times.  Then things seemed to settle down and the last five nights we’ve only had to get up to go outside once.

Katie hasn’t had a fainting episode since that second one and it’s been over three weeks.  I know there will be more and I know she will get worse, but for now the meds and Rx food seem to be keeping her stable.

I’ve stopped all her store-bought treats except her daily rawhide chew toy, her favorite, and substituted bananas (which I use to hide her pills in), chopped apples, baby carrots and frozen green beans.  They are all good for her and salt free, and she LOVES them.  She also gets 1/2 of a Hills k/d cookie morning and night. So everything she is eating is low or no sodium.

For now all is good and Katie has lost weight, about two pounds which were probably fluid, and she wants to walk again.  This morning we walked a mile and a half, and she is leading me now.  That’s great!

Many, many thanks to Kim (The Empty Attic) for all the time she’s spent answering my questions and giving me the benefit of her experiences with her beautiful dog, Doris who had the same symptoms, and who Kim and her husband John lost last year.  So, so hard to lose a dog we’ve had so long, and who we loved so much.  Thanks, Kim!  You were such a big help, you gave me good information and also gave me hope.  Both were very much needed.

Tons of thanks also to Sandie Dixon (WHERE ARE THE DIXONS TODAY?)  When Sandie saw on my blog that Katie was having some health issues she e-mailed me and we corresponded back and forth about meds, where to get them, the best prices, etc.  She and Jim lost their Skittles last year and still miss her like crazy.  Skittles also had heart disease and was on the same meds that our vet prescribed.  Thanks, Sandie – it’s not only the information you provided that helped so much, but also knowing that someone who’s been through this cares so much.

Katie has a good prognosis, she could still be a full-timing canine for two or three years.  She turned 12 on February 20, so she’s not that old for a small dog.  Hopefully she’ll celebrate her 15th birthday with me.  That’s my plan!

From Me and Katie, have a great week, everyone!  

The Palms got a Facelift!

Katie and I traveled to San Diego early this month – my son Tom had offered to remove the faded, cracked decals on her exterior and re-paint the same shapes so they will last (and look a lot better!).  Of course I accepted his offer.  This was last November and at that time he had a busy schedule, but he kept the second week of February pretty open for himself and his crew.

This is what she looked like before – you can see below the window they are just starting to remove a decal:

The decals were faded and cracked:



And this is – as Kim put it – The Palms without makeup:


These are the colors they used to paint on the new decals:


Copper – I had a problem getting photos without reflections of the clouds – it’s so smooth and shiny now:

Another copper:

And silver:

Brown, silver and copper together:

Some photos when they were working on her in the shop:





And here she is, back in New Mexico, taken in our RV park – yup – you heard right.  RV Park.  With Katie being sick and having to go outside twice during the night to do her business, and the cold overnight temps, as well as as lots of wind and occasional rain, I decided I wanted electric hookups.  AND we’re changing our domicile to New Mexico and this is our address for a while.

Isn’t she beautiful?

I was staying at my son and daughter-in-law’s house up in Carlsbad, CA and Tom’s shop where he does the car/truck restorations is south in San Deigo in an industrial area.  So, Katie and I dropped off The Palms and went home with Tom that day.  I had the use of their Jeep during the week but it wasn’t worth it to fight all the traffic to go back to the shop during the week while things were in progress.  I didn’t drive down until the job was done.

I was pretty floored when I saw her.  I was only expecting the decals to be new looking, that would have been wonderful, but not only did they remove the old ones then paint and clear coat new decals, they also buffed the entire rig so she shines like new.  Tom said he was surprised at how great the original fiberglass clear coat is holding up.

It was amazing!  He did so much more than I expected.  In addition to replacing the old decals with beautiful likenesses, they went all over the rig where the caulking is – around all the little covers and the door, windows, the outside shower – all those places that have been caulked and have turned black from road grime – they re-caulked them all and they are white again like they should be.
They repainted my step, the door handle/lock plate and all around the gas intake area, anything that is black, Tom repainted.  The truck grill was starting to have areas where the black had worn down and a green color was showing through.  That was re-painted black.
When they buffed the fiberglass out they got all the rest of the tiny speckles of tar that I picked up coming back from Kanab, UT when the road crew sprayed the back and side of the rig.  I had gotten what I could reach and needed a ladder for the rest and now all those speckles are buffed out.
I had two lower outside compartment doors that must have been a different material than the rest – that was too bad, because those two changed color in the sun, one on each side of The Palms – they had turned yellow.  Tom painted them white again so now they match the rest of the rig.  They also painted a big chip on my side mirror white to match.  The stove vent outside had turned an ugly yellow color, as well as the material on the top and bottom of the grab bar handle by the door.  Those are now a beautiful bright white.
They washed and waxed the whole thing and dried it so there wouldn’t be water marks.
Tom put a treatment on my tires so they are nice and black again.
It was unbelievable when I saw it all.
It was a huge job, but they actually restored The Palms back to her beautiful beginnings.  It’s like the pantry Tom built me for the kitchen, whenever I walk by the pantry, I still put my hand along the door, so smooth and beautiful.  Now I’m doing the same thing with The Palms.
When I go outside, or come back from shopping and see her it’s like a big, beautiful present sitting there.  Sigh… I can’t believe she’s mine!  😊
Unfortunately this isn’t a quick modification many people can do without a big hit to their pocketbook.  I am a lucky camper to have a son who has an auto repair/paint/restoration shop so they know what they are doing.  And who is willing to take the time to do this for his mom.

Many thanks, Tom – you have no idea how much I appreciate you taking your own time from your huge work schedule and lending your crew to do this for me.

The Palms is rolling along now leaving a bright shiny trail in her dust.  Other drivers – put on your sunglasses, you’ll need them when we pass you!  😎


PS – I have news after Katie’s vet visit yesterday.  Some good, some bad, but overall I’m relieved that we have a plan.  I’ll tell you about it in my next blogpost.

From me and Katie, see you next time!  ❤

Katie and I are fine – well…

I wanted to post to let everyone know we are still rolling along. I couldn’t believe it when I pulled up my blog and saw the last date I posted something.

When I started doing the Art Challenges on other blog posts, that really got me going and most of my creative moments have been spent doing digital collage art for the challenges.  I’m still really into that, but I haven’t stopped posting here, just a looooog lull.

Sorry for the “title tease” – I’m fine, but Katie is having some issues.  I think she has congestive heart failure.  She went to her vet in Arizona on December 30, but since then other symptoms have occured.  We’re going to her vet here in New Mexico on Monday afternoon.  She’s happy and fine and a constant tail-wagger still, but having problems sometimes.  I’m hoping medication will ease things for her.  Fingers crossed. More on that next time.

I’m making some changes to our normal travel/living routine and will tell you about that soon, too.

Just to throw in a few photos…  We drove to San Diego the first week in February for a project my son did on The Palms – here’s Katie in their backyard.  She just loves it there, she has so much room, she actually runs around and seems like a pup again.   Or lies in the sun.

We’re back on the road again, in New Mexico now.  Katie wouldn’t let me lift her into bed Thursday night so we slept on my couch – it pulls out into a bed.  It’s pretty comfortable, but there’s no way to tuck in the covers and she burrows under all day, so The Palms was crowded feeling and in a state of “not neat” for two days.  Kind of drove me crazy, but Katie loved it.

In the midst of that, our campsite was flooded last night and we ended up packing and moving in the rainy dark early evening to a new site.  Such a pain!  No room in The Palms, everything was WET and SANDY that was outside, rugs, tables, chairs, her fencing, light cords, electric cord.
Geez – then I lost my keys.   It was So Not Fun!  😣

So, anyway, I left the bed this way for the last two days and we’re going to try going back up to the bunk tonight.   She LOVED having covers easily available to snuggle under.  It’s been rainy and cold and she was like a little bug in a rug all day.


When she wasn’t laying on a heap of the covers she made, she burrowed under.

And under further… just a nose poking out:

I’ll post again soon – I have a HUGE RV mod to post about and show you.  I’m SO excited about it.

Another thing that’s new – that I’ll just mention here but will tell you more later – is our friend Kim, you know – Kimbopolo – has a new on-line store!  I’m putting the link here, and will also add it to my sidebar soon so you won’t have to search for it if you want to check it out in the future.

I purchased two things today, a spiral notebook and a coffee mug – both with her original art.  I can’t wait for them to arrive!  When they do, I’ll post a photo.  She has different designs and various items you can choose – I also loved the tote/shopping bags – REALLY beautiful!  So check it out, get yourself a present, or two like I did, or purchase a great gift for someone else.  She’s always adding her own new, original artwork; check back from time to time to see what’s new!  Click on this link to go to her shop!

That’s it for now – I need to take some photos of my new RV MOD and will post again soon.  I promise!

From Me and Katie, have a great weekend, everyone!   ❤❤

What Do You Do, When All Your Dreams Come True?" *** and *** “This Blog Is For Me, Too”

I found a cool blog a while ago titled Bren on the Road, read most of the posts and liked it so much I added it to my Blog Roll.  Even though the author isn’t RVing, it is a travel blog.  Today I clicked on the sidebar link and went back to read some of the older posts that looked interesting.  I’d read most of them, but they looked like subjects I’d enjoy reading about again.

Bren is a young, single guy from Auckland, New Zealand traveling the world.  Really, the world, but so many of his stories and tips work for RVers, too.  And I really enjoy his writing style.  I’ve spent hours going back through all the posts with titles of interest to me today.

As I looked through the list of past blog posts, two of the them really spoke to me and I wanted to share them. 

The first post is kind of where I am right now, I pretty much have fulfilled all my dreams, wants and wishes.  What do I do now?  It was written December 6, 2017.

The second one I especially wanted to keep handy because it’s been harder for me to find interesting topics to post about lately when I’m in a “no inspiration, no motivation” blogging mode. It seems like a lot of us who have been blogging for years sometimes go through these “lack of motivation” times.  Click the link below to be taken to that post.

It was written October 9, 2014.  When I was reading this post, it emphasized to me how fortunate we RVers really are, those of us who are lucky enough to be able to leave home and travel.  Whether it’s to all the State Parks in New Mexico year after year, or camping in all the National Parks in the USA, or visiting each of the 50 United States.  Some people have specific goals and bucket lists and some are just “on the road” like me.  I have no itinerary and no long term plan.  As long as I enjoy this lifestyle, I’ll keep doing it, making it up as I go along.  When it stops being wonderful, I’ll figure out something else.

This is the beginning of the part of his post that really got me:
“Us long term travelers are spoiled on the road. We forget what we’re looking at. We get lazy. Unappreciative. Another rural town with beautiful colonial buildings? Snore. Seen one of them before.
“But if we stop being such jaded, stuck-up snobs, we might remember what this new town really represents; a new adventure. You might meet your next best friend here. You might hear a song that you would never hear anywhere else. You might fall in love with the girl who sits beside you at the coffee shop. You might eat a mandarin pie that is so perfect it will be seared into your taste-bud memory for life.
“But we forget that. All of us do.
“And that’s when I realised, this blog isn’t just for you. It’s for me, too.”

I don’t think we are all spoiled, unappreciative or lazy, and the people I meet are definitely not snobs.  But he’s traveling as a single man in other countries, and we are in RVs in the US.  Different kinds of travel – that might make the difference.  But his concept, I think, is correct.  He goes on from that point explaining… well, you can read the rest on his blog.

Sometimes what Bren writes is so true! I use my blog for so many different things, sometimes I use the Search Box to find information I need, and when I get to that particular post, I end up reading it, and then some of the other posts around the same time, or in the same place.  That always gets the creative juices going again and reminds me how much I love reading my old posts and remembering where I’ve been, people I’ve met, new birds I’ve photographed; great times, stressful situations, wins and losses – all the different crazy and wonderful experiences that happen when you live on the road.  

Could I possibly ever forget how lucky I am? And continue looking for the unusual, exotic and funny things I can write a new blog post about to keep those memories safe and available at the click of a Search button?  Luckily I have my blog to look back and remind me.

Even though Bren is traveling the world and is much younger than I, the concept is still the same and most of his blog posts have something in them that give me ideas or make me smile and nod my head.

Hummm, I didn’t mean to make this a review of Bren on the Road, but I do recommend it for current or future travelers.  His posts are interesting and I especially liked the ones I’ve linked to.  Who knows, you might get some good ideas, learn something new or just have an enjoyable read.

I’ve never met Bren, but felt like I knew him when I first found his blog and read through his posts.  After spending an entire afternoon re-reading some of his past blog posts, I feel like I’ve met him all over again.  If you get a chance, check him out.

“If you’ve forgotten why you travel… Try to remember the reason you fell in love with the road.”  –Bren on the Road

From me and Katie, have a great day, everyone!  😊

Check out my new Blog

The news I was talking about at the end of the last post is – Ta-DA!  I’ve started another blog, My Art Bag, not a replacement for this one, but in addition to Me and My Dog …and My RV.

I was going to keep it private.  I wanted a place to keep links, photos, copies of artwork I might do to keep track of my progress, etc., and who would be interested in THAT except me?

But then my friend, Kim, previously of Kimbopolo and now her second blog, The Empty Attic, told me about Art Challenges she does.  I thought that was pretty cool and loved her work, checked the links on The Empty Attic to see what the other people were doing, and decided I wanted to participate.  To do that I needed to have the blog public so the hosts for the week can see the piece to do their judging for that week’s challenge.  Thank You Kim – you’ve set me off on a new creative path.  And it’s sure keeping me busy!

This week I’ve entered two of my graphic art collage pieces. These sites are open to anyone, to submit any kind/style of art.  I want to explore different ways of putting together my digital graphics into other styles.  I love what I’m doing, but I want to grow into other areas and seeing the work of the other participants will give me ideas that I might like to try.

If I ever get good enough to sketch or draw or paint a piece free-hand that is worthy of a submission I’ll enter it, but that’s way down the road.  I literally can’t draw a straight line or a circle freehand and my brain isn’t pointed that way so I never have any good ideas.  Of course, these challenges might help with that.

I took the photo on the small easel below of a Black-necked Stilt in May of 2013 when I was at  Caballo Lake State Park, Riverside Campground in New Mexico. I put it through a program to make it look like a painting, then added it to five digital graphics to create a digital signature sign-off for The Art Bag posts.

This is Digital Art Collage.  And it’s addicting! I remember the day I took that photo, so exciting – I’d never heard of this bird before and they were so fun to watch as they waded in the Rio Grande.

I’m a total beginner making art with my hands, drawing, sketching, oils, acrylics, water paints.  Those are the classes I purchased on Udemy.com during their Black Friday sale, which was awesome.  (Thank You to Don Stier for telling me about the super prices on Udemy.com!) When I get started with those on-line classes I’ll post finished products as I go along. They wont be pretty!  Total, total beginner with that stuff.  But I’ve wanted to create art my entire life, and I’m taking baby steps.  Hopefully if I enjoy it I’ll get better and better.

I’m getting my feet wet with the digital art piece challenges.  It’s been a while since I’ve played with digital graphics and I’ll continue to submit those to the Art Challenge websites. I purchased Adobe Photoshop Elements 2018 and an instruction class to learn about it as well as a book Kim recommended.  I have lots of apps and a couple of programs similar but much smaller and easier to use than Elements, so my learning curve isn’t starting from a flat place.  But I still have a LOT to learn.  Elements contains all the things I use my other apps/programs for – but in one place.  Now I move my pieces from app to app transforming them as I go along.  It would be nice to have it all in one program.

They say as we get older, and especially when we’re retired, it’s a good idea to learn a new language, start a new hobby, participate in a new sport, etc.  This will stimulate the production of new synapses in our brains, keeping us happier and younger and helping with brain growth.  So for now this is what I’m doing.  And I’m having a BLAST!

If you click the link to the new blog – My Art Bag – click on the photos of my Art Challenge pieces; you’ll see more detail. My entries have some pretty small graphics.

I’m working on two others now, and will post them as soon as I get them done.  I’m waking up every morning excited to get started and heading off to bed near midnight.  (Not JUST doing these things, but once I get started in the afternoon it’s hard to stop until my eyes hurt and I can hardly stay awake.)

From Me and My Dog, have a great day everyone!  🙂

Busy, busy, busy

I’m starting to get comments and e-mails asking if Katie and I are okay – has it been that long since my last post?  YES, it has.  I went back to the last one and checked where we were, and realized my last post ended with a comment about heading to San Diego for medical appointments and then I didn’t post for over a month.  Sorry, everyone, the tests were all good and I’m on the road for another year.

Last week I went across the border to visit my dentist, Dr. Rafael at Rubio Dental Clinic for my annual exam, x-rays and cleaning.  Everything was good there, too.  It’s always a relief to get those things done for another year.

We’ve been to a few different places, well I guess more than a few, since my last post.  Below are some photos of where we’ve been – then I’ll be caught up again.

San Diego – I spent only a few days in San Diego.  Now that I’m getting eye and dental appointments taken care of in Mexico, I only have lab tests and a doctor appointment.  I had a nice visit with my family and was heading back over the mountains to Alpine for one night.  Then I drove on to…

Hot Springs, LTVA, Holtville, CA

I stop here every year on my way to or from San Diego.  This is the hot springs soaking area with two tubs and a shower:

Next to the soaking area is the pond:

It’s so pretty, I’ve seen people swimming in it, but not often.  I just like to walk around it every year and enjoy the ambiance.

I had a really nice, very large campsite this time, that felt very private, like a real yard.

I bought another little Keurig coffee maker, so of course I had to re-arrange my kitchen counters again:

I love my kitchen, and it’s fun changing it around from time to time.  There’s not much I can change in The Palms, so usually the kitchen gets the honors.  😊

We were surrounded by trees and bushes except on the street side.  Since it was really like a “yard” I was able to let Katie off her leash and she wandered around inside our site.  It was nice for her.  I also got a long lead that I could loop around a tree branch when I wanted her to stay close. When we went for walks, I’d put the leash back on. But most of the time she was free as a bird.

Speaking of birds, there were Roadrunners here that wandered through our camp every day.  One day I threw a little piece of meatloaf out the window and this guy came running.

Isn’t he a beauty?  Look at the detail in his feathers.

One morning this little guy came strolling through and hopped up on the branches of one of the trees in our camp, he continued climbing up and then just settled in.  (If you look up above to the photo with the red chair, you can see all the branches on these trees, some right on the ground.)

I’d look out the window, and he’d still be there.  He really blends into the tree branches.  Can you see him?

I’ve never seen a Roadrunner up in a tree before.

I met a bunch of really nice people here at Hot Springs this year, and look forward to seeing them again.

I was having a problem draining my grey tank and finally called a company that clears clogs and cleans grey and black tanks.  The only problem was that I needed to be camped where he would have access to a sewer and water.  So I got a reservation in Yuma for one night at Sunset Palms RV Park and drove there for an overnight.  I have to say it was really nice – full hook-ups, laundry next to my site, and clean showers, too.

The company is All Pro Water-Flow, owned by John Michel.  He arrived shortly after I got settled and started setting up.  Meanwhile I was parked right next to the laundry and made a few trips back and forth.  Sure is nice living next to a laundry for a day!  When I came back from checking on the washing machines, he said he had good news.  There was no clog – whatever the problem was, it was gone.  So he continued to clean and sanitize both tanks and it cost me a lot less.  He said clogs are one thing, but just cleaning tanks is quicker and less expensive.

John did a great job and I have to say, it’s nice to know both my tanks are clean.  I won’t have to worry about having any issues for a long time.  I would highly recommend All Pro Water-Flow if you are having any tank problems and need them cleared or cleaned out and sanitized.  His contact information is on the trailer pictured above. He works in and around Yuma, AZ.

The next morning I headed back to Hot Springs.

Don Stier stopped by to visit for a couple of days over Thanksgiving on his way west.  On Thursday morning we went to Los Algodones, Mexico for a little shopping and got some liquor to bring back to have a Tequila tasting with our snacks before dinner.  He already had a bottle, a different brand name, so we had three kinds to try.  They were three different prices, too and with Tequila, price matters.  The one in the center, the clear one, was the best and cost the most.  I’m developing a taste for Tequila, but after our tasting, I mixed mine with some water, honey and a little lemon juice.  It was really good!

Katie was pretty interested in what was going on above her on the table:  chips and shrimp with dips galore!  She’s such a good girl, she never tries to get food that’s not for her.

There were some gorgeous sunsets at Hot Springs:

Friday morning I drove to Imperial Dam LTVA and got a spot at Quail Hill, where I always camp.  The weather has been great here, quite windy today but until now it’s been perfect.  I always like to get a site overlooking the dam and canals if I can, and again this year I was able to get one.

Imperial Dam – you can see the water flowing and on calm, clear nights I can hear it.

A White Egret wading in one of the canals:

Sunset out the window the other night:

Dale Lafferty was camping here, too, and was going over to Los Algodones last week, so I made my dental appointment for Thursday morning and went with him.  We drove our rigs to the Quechan Casino near the border and overnighted there and walked across the border the next morning.   I had my annual dental check-up, x-rays and cleaning – everything was GREAT! – (thank goodness, after last year) – and we had breakfast and did a little shopping then back across the border to the Good Ole USA!

That’s about it in a nutshell.  We’re up to date.  I’ve gotten involved in some new things and I started another blog, I’ll tell you about those next time.

From me and Katie, have a great week, everyone!

Leaving New Mexico – Final pics of critters and sunsets

Katie and I sure did enjoy our stay in New Mexico – probably more this year than ever before.  The weather was good, the lakes were high, we met some nice people, and for part of the time we camped with friends.  We snagged some of the best sites, and…  there weren’t any bugs!  This has got to be the first time we’ve camped here and not had mosquitoes.  I don’t know where they went, but it sure wasn’t here.  Really nice!  Of course, there were SOME bugs, but none that really bothered us.

Two days ago we left Elephant Butte Lake State Park, heading west to San Diego for a family visit and annual medical appointments.  So these are the final photos – not many, but a few…

I saw this little bug again, I’ve seen these guys before and they always fascinate me.  Little blue dimpled bugs, dimpled like tiny blue half golf balls.  It’s a Desert “blue-ball” blister beetle (Cysteodemus wislizeni, Meloidae) – Thanks, heyduke50!  So interesting looking:

Now that I know what he’s called, I looked him up on-line, but I couldn’t find anything about him other than a photo and the name.  I’m assuming from heyduke50’s comment that they bite or sting or something, but I couldn’t find any info. 

I don’t know if I’ve posted any photos of Gambel’s Quail – I think they are one of the prettiest birds I’ve seen and they are all over the desert in this area.  You can hear them talking to each other all day long.  This is the male:

And this is the female:

When I was camping here at EBLSP a few weeks ago with Don, we were out walking and saw this snake – Don said he thought it was a Sidewinder and it was definitely winding along going from side to side:

Here are the footprints he left – or should I say, body prints?  Thanks for the pictures, Don!

Then the other day I was back at the park again and when I was walking, I saw this little guy:

Neither snake had rattles, which was the main thing for me, but they seem to be as afraid of me as I was of them.  They really move away fast when they feel our feet on the ground, or see us.  Don’t know which come first, but they must feel us coming.  And they scoot!

I haven’t put up Katie’s fence for a long time.  She doesn’t like it and doesn’t seem comfortable inside, but she wanted to be outside a lot at Elephant Butte Lake, so I put it up.  She laid down and relaxed and enjoyed looking around the area.  Even the birds walking past didn’t bother her.  I could watch her from the dinette window and she could see me, so we were both happy.

Here she is laying in a patch of sun in the doorway:

Last sunset shot I took – isn’t it beautiful?  Like a pastel watercolor.

On our last morning I filled the water tank, cleaned the floors, vacuumed the carpet and defrosted the fridge and freezer.  We left the park around 2:00 and stopped at the dump station to empty the tanks.  Then we drove down through Hatch and Lordsburg and stopped at Benson, AZ.  We spent one night at the Benson WalMart, then headed off early in the morning.  As we were driving along traffic suddenly slowed, and this is what we saw:

We slowed, but were still moving.  The east bound lane, however, was backed up for a long distance.  One car was upside down on the center concrete divider and the other car was totally smashed in the front end and also got rear-ended.  Thank goodness for the dividers!  It was a bad accident, but if the cars had come over into the westbound lanes it would have been far worse.  Always sobering to pass something like this.

As we were nearing Viejas Casino in Alpine, CA, the sun was just setting.  We always seem to get here this time of day, I remember snapping similar sunsets on previous trips to San Diego.

Viejas allows people to park in their big rig/RV parking lot for three nights each month.  I always seem to be coming through Alpine the end of a month.  Since the weather is always cooler up here, I stop off for three days on my way to San Diego.  Visit my son and daughter-in-law and grand kids, take care of annual medical appointments, and then sometimes stop again on my way back to Quartzsite.  Since it’s then the beginning of a new month, I can stop for another three days in the cooler temps and nice breezes, before going down to the desert again.

So… this always feels like the beginning of the new year to me.  Summer and lakeside camping are done and dry desert camping begins.  All of you RVers out there know the feeling of anticipation I feel when the seasons change and I begin the planning and then start the engine for a new location. Fingers crossed that the medical stuff will be easy and quick with good outcomes, and I’ll be on the road again soon.

From me and Katie, have a great weekend, everyone.  😎

Caballo Lake State Park, NM – quick update

We’re still in the Elephant Butte, TorC, Caballo Lake area.  It’s so pretty here, so easy to camp and find a great campsite, nice people, great walking, beautiful lakes, super weather.  Why would we want to leave?

I’ve been camping with my friend, Don, for a while.  We spent some time at Caballo Lake after leaving Elephant Butte Lake in NM.  Caballo has lots of places to camp – right on the lake, on the Rio Grande, overlooking the lake, in developed campsites, and electric/water sites.  Some of the camping areas are pretty stark, some are lush, and some are overgrown looking.  We drove through the area the day before we moved to Caballo, checking for empty campsites, and deciding where we would head next.

We decided on the Appaloosa Campground, it has no-reservation electric campsites and the temps were still high enough to want air conditioning from time to time.  Then one day when we were on our usual morning walk we noticed the gate at one of the reserved camping areas, the Stallion Campground which had been closed, was OPEN.  So we walked over to the Visitor’s Center and asked if that campground was now open to anyone.  I guess it’s been so crowded, they decided to open up that one, and since it was October, no reservations were required.

We hustled back to our campsites, packed up and drove to the Stallion Campground.  There was no one there and we got the pick of the sites. We had great sites!  Quiet, private, lots of trees and bushes and I even had a view of the lake.  I’ve been so lucky with campsites this year in NM state parks.

Look how big this site is, and my only neighbor is Don, next door on the other side of The Palms:

Beautiful view of the mountains, and see my little lake view through the trees?

Most mornings we walked down to the lake and all around the campgrounds near us.  We got some great exercise.  I’m trying to walk a target number of steps each day, and am going about a mile or more over my goal most of the time. 🙂

This might sound dumb to some of you, but I’ve been walking so much I’ve discovered a new muscle in my legs that I’ve never felt before.  I was talking to my son on the phone and reached down to rub my leg.  What’s that???  I realized it was a muscle that was obviously getting more developed so that I noticed it. I looked it up to see what it’s called:

“The large calf muscle, or gastrocnemius, has two parts or heads — medial and lateral — which extend from your knee joint to your heel bone. While the medial head is positioned on the inside of your lower leg, the lateral head runs along the outside. The two parts work together to extend your ankle downward.”   Pretty cool to notice new muscles at my age!  🙃

Now if I could just stop eating chips and dip and chocolate covered almonds, LOL.

View of the site from my dinette window:

I think Don’s site was even bigger.  One day he was gone in his car for a while, and some people drove up, looked at his site, parked and walked over to his empty casita.  They looked pretty happy.  I’m watching them through my window, wondering, what the heck?  Another car, part of their group, drove up on the other side of the site and parked.  He was getting out when I went outside to see what was up.  I couldn’t believe they were planning to use the site.  The half with the casita.  Ummm, no.  “This is part of the campsite belonging to that motor home over there.  Sorry.”  They were embarrassed and apologized, got back in their cars and drove away.  It would have been funny if I wasn’t there to see them, and Don got back later with half of his campsite occupied by strangers.  I don’t know if they were there for the day or planning to put up tents, but…  I’ve never seen that happen before. 🤔

Nighttime walk, the evenings were beautiful:

I’ve been pretty busy and haven’t taken many photos – almost none while at Caballo Lake.  That’s unusual for me, but campsite pics will have to do for this location.  We’ve moved on, and I’ll post from another location next time.  🙂

From me and Katie, have a great week, everyone!   😁😎🙃

Wow, it’s been a while since I’ve posted! (Again)

Katie and I have been at Elephant Butte Lake State Park in Truth or Consequences for a little over a month, and have now moved to Caballo Lake State Park.  I’ve been busy and not particularly in the mood to sit down and go through all my photos, you Bloggers know how THAT is!  Tonight the mood hit, and here I am.  Finally.

We really enjoyed our stay at Elephant Butte.  Did lots of walking, lots of visiting, some lunches in town, walked around TorC a little, and did some sightseeing.  All in all great weather and an enjoyable stay.  I’d have to say the same for our time at Caballo Lake, too, so far.

Below are some of the photos I’ve taken in the last month.  Most of my favorites were Roadrunner shots, but I’ve taken a few of other critters, some campsite pictures, a rainbow and some sunsets, the usual.   Sometimes I think I’m re-taking the same photos as I’m staying again and again in my favorite campgrounds, but I still can’t resist.  And trust me, I’m sparing you all the lizard shots, I’d swear it’s the same lizard as last year, the moon photos that look exactly like every other full moon I’ve posted,  and the endless birds that live in this area.  Etc., etc., etc. 

Here’s one of the sites we stayed in overlooking the lake:

Elephant Butte State Park has these really pretty trees, and when they’re in bloom they are just beautiful.  I love these little flowers, in fact I’m using the photo below as my screen saver right now.

The third and fourth weeks we were at the lake, we were lucky to get the end campsite with a great view.  After one of the rainstorms there was a rainbow going completely over the lake:

Lots of Mourning Doves – I knew they had blue rings of featherless skin around their eyes, but didn’t know until I saw the photo below, while he was blinking, that their whole eyelid was blue.  Interesting. 

See his blue eyelid?

Of course, I had to post a couple of bunny photos.  They are running all over the place here, these cottontails and also jackrabbits.   They’re so cute – the jackrabbits run when they see us, but these little guys think that if they stop and stay still, we won’t see them.  (?)  I guess that’s what they’re doing, sorry little guy, I can see you!  

On one of the especially hot days, the rabbit below hopped into the shade, fashioned himself a nice cool depression in the sand, and laid down in it.

This large grasshopper Preying Mantis (Thanks to Anonymous and ndenim for the correction) was on my tire when we were moving to a new campground, and I had to flick him off the tire.  I was afraid I’d run right over him.   Pretty small wings for a big insect – they look like a skirt, don’t they? 

And my Roadrunners.  They’ve kept me entertained.  Twice in two different campsites I’ve looked up and there was a Roadrunner on my truck hood, looking at me through the window.

They have so many different poses, it’s fun taking pictures of them.

Do you remember when Mello Mike had his Annual Roadrunner Photo Contest a few years ago?  I ended up winning First Place the first year.  I haven’t seen a post from Mike in two years now, but every time I take a Roadrunner shot that I especially like, I always think, “This could have been a winner this year.”  These are two of those shots:

There were three Roadrunners seeming to fight over a piece of food, and the two on the left were jockeying for position to grab it while the roadrunner on the right and the rabbit behind him in the photo looked on.  Later I thought maybe the center bird was the mom and the one with the open beak was her baby.

After the center bird finally chased the bird on the left away, she went over to the food and picked it up and offered it to the other bird.  It doesn’t look much smaller than the others, though, so…  I don’t know what was going on, really, but it was very entertaining to watch. 

Below is a sunset photo from Elephant Butte – the sky was so red around the setting sun:

I just scheduled my annual medical appointments in San Diego and will be heading west soon.  I’m sure going to miss New Mexico, but it’s always nice to get those appointments out of the way for another year!

From me and Katie, have a great weekend, everyone! ❤❤