Wednesday, January 30, 2013

PROGRESS REPORT

Slow – very slow – but steady.  I am eating well (small amounts but frequent) – I am resting lots – and I am sleeping at night.  What more could you ask for !!

I still tire very easily, however, am finding I’m able to do just a little bit more each day.

I am able to go out for short walks a couple of times a day.  I try to increase the distance (and not by much) each time – but not the pace.  It is very much a slow stroll and I’m ok with that.

Really pretty much all of the symptoms are gone now with a minimal cough left (DUH !!).  And even at that it feels more from my throat as opposed to my chest.

Just gotta get my energy level back up.

I’ve finished the anti-biotics and had hoped for a renewal but they would not authorize it without going in to see a Doctor.  I don’t know if the anti-biotics helped or one of the other meds but just felt another week on the anti-biotics wouldn’t hurt.

My anxiety and fear levels are still quite high.  There are two reason for that.  First, The fear is that I will have a relapse (especially while I’m still here in the States).  Second, is the withdrawals.  But I am getting through it all. ONE DAY (or minute) AT A TIME.

The Group here (there are 6 rigs I believe) had a gorgeous campfire last night.  I strolled over to say hi and then strolled back home again.  I’m ok with that also.

01

02

03

Riding the Harley may have to wait another little while !!  LOL

Monday, January 28, 2013

G R A T I T U D E

Gawd where do I being….

As many of you know I have been sick.  Most of you didn’t know quite know how sick I became – me being on the top of that list.

It came on quickly and became increasing worse each day.  Whatever “IT” was went straight into my chest and lungs and breathing became extremely difficult.

After about a week (I guess – I was quite out of it) SANDIE had had enough.  She came by to check on me in the morning and within five minutes we were barrelling up 95 toward Parker’s Hospital Emergency.  She didn’t even give me a chance to change – still in my PJ’s and slippers !!

We did make a brief stop at the local clinic here (I didn’t even get out of the truck) but when Sandie told them it was having breathing problems they said go straight to Emergency in Parker.

Not knowing at this point if I was contagious or not they came over with their masks and gloves on.  I do believe Jim may have broken a speeding record or two driving to Parker.  LOL

Jim and Sandie are the ones I’ve known the longest – and that’s only 2 years I believe – and were such a support with help, comfort and caring.  For those of you that do not know, Jim has just gone through FOUR major surgeries just this past year alone – one of them being Lung Cancer.  So Sandie has had a lot on her plate lately.

During this whole process every member of the Group helped in some way.  Some of these people I only met as recent as two years ago and many I just met for the first time this year.  I’ve read other Bloggers refer to their “RV Family” but until now I had no concept.

There are just so many people to thank and undoubtedly I will forget someone or something.  So please forgive me if I have.

LMJ made sure Bennie was taken care of and went to get me chicken noodle soup etc.  MJ came over and washed my dishes; tidied up the house and changed my bed while I was in Hospital.  After a week of being sick and not being able to do anything that sure was appreciated.

Terry and Doug built a box for me in one of my compartments to house more batteries – while I was in the Hospital.

 

03

Lee just kept going back and forth to the store getting me anything I may need.  He also took Bennie over to his rig for the night while I was in the Hospital.

PETER AND BEA (only met them last year) were only in Q for a few days and came by to see me and asked if I needed anything done.  Well at that point the most DESPERATE thing that needed doing was my laundry.  It was already two weeks overdue and there was a LOT of it !!  They took it all and it came back washed, dried, and folded !

TERRY AND JERI were a constant source of help and comfort and provided food and regularly checking in on me.  They were both willing to do whatever was necessary to help.

Just met Mike and Julie this year and they are fellow riders.  Mike got the bike into the hauler for me.  I was TOLD to sit down and just direct them on where things went and how the ramps attached etc. etc.  They may have had to tell me that more than once.  LOL

01

04

Roger and Lynn (another couple I just met this year) sent me over a large container of delicious HOME MADE potato soup with all the other veggies in it.  Lynn was a Nurse so kept checking in on me regularly.

LINDA also brought over food and checked in on me daily.  She also drove out to Parker to bring me back to Q.

JOHN & NAN – I never did meet John.  But Nan also checked in on me and was willing to help in any way.

TONI & DOUG send over a piece of homemade lemon meringue pie during the first days of my illness.  Now who can’t get a slice of lemon meringue pie into them even when sick !!

Most of the Group were moving to another location just a few miles up the road (FREE) as all of our Permits were due to expire within 3-4 days of my return from the Hospital.  I decided it was best if I went also to stay around the Group until I felt stronger.  Several of the men offered to drive my rig over and even do my tanks for me !!!

It turned out that by the time I moved I was able to handle things myself – slowly – and with lots of rests in between.

I am improving slowly – ever so slowly each day.  I take short little jaunts (Bea that’s a wee walk LOL) a couple of times a day.  My anxiety levels are still quite high due to a fear of a relapse, however, that’s to be expected I’m sure.  As the days continue to improve – AND THEY WILL !! – that will ease off.

This whole experience has been – well you know I can’t even come up with the right word.  I have been on my own my lifetime, independent, self-sufficient and perhaps even a tad stubborn in my independence at times.  LOL

I am plowing every big of nutrition into my body that I can.  I’m giving my body everything it needs to help with this recovery.

THANK YOU ALL MY “RV FAMILY”.

And I know that as soon as I click “Publish” I will remember someone that I forgot to include here.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

“IT” DIDN’T LISTEN TO ME

I’ve been (am) about as sick as I’ve ever been.  The whole she-bang !
Whole body aches…
Chilled to the bone when it’s at least 90F here in the rig….
Then yesterday those chills changed to the sweats whereby the water was pouring off me…
The coughing has been the worst though.  Can’t get anything up and my chest is so sore….
Absolutely no appetite…
It’s not too often I get ‘scared’ but when I’m this sick – well it does creep in.
The group here has been wonderful.  Checking in on me daily and offering to do/get anything that I might need.  They have to stay outside by the door though ‘cause I sure don’t want anyone to catch this from me.
I have a Pharmacy of things here I’ve been taking trying to relieve some of the symptoms.
Sure hope “IT” goes away soon.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

S I C K !!

Chest feels like it’s on fire….

Headache……

Chills…….

Scratchy throat…..

I’ve told “IT” it has one day only.  Tomorrow I’ll be as good as new.

Monday, January 14, 2013

THE COLD CONTINUES….

The COLD continues and at Noon it is still only 40F/4C – but feels like 32F/0C due to the high winds. Winds from the NNW at 20 to 25 mph with gusts to 35 mph. The end of this cold front is in sight though as Thursday is predicted to be back in the high 60’s.  Sure looking forward to that !

First priority of the morning is to keep Bennie warm.  I turn on the dreaded generator – crank up the furnace – turn on my electric heater – and also turn on my Mr. Heater which is placed right next to my little guys bed.

01

Yesterday I moved from Plomosa Rd. over the La Posa South to hang with people I’ve met over the last few years – and of course will be meeting more of their Group again this year.

NOBODY is outside due to the cold weather.

02 - Copy

The above pic was taken from my living room window – not going outside today for nuttin’ !!

Another rig pulled in behind me.  It is a huge 5th Wheel Toy Hauler and they are also friends of this Group.  Jeri tells me they are Harley people so I’m looking forward to meeting them.

I’m hunkered down here with the beautiful Arizona sun pouring in through my front window – but still need the Mr. Heater going.  I was able to turn off the other sources of heat.

The bike’s cover is blowing like crazy but hasn’t flown off yet.  I WILL NOT  secure it underneath – once was enough for that mistake !!

03

It doesn’t take much to amuse or entertain me – just watching how Folks bring their Blue Boys to the dump station entertains me. This guy is on his second trip now.

04

This guy is on his THIRD trip !!

06

And of course there’s Jeri out freezin’ her butt of waiting for Duchess to ‘go’.

05

Duchess obviously didn’t care about the wind or the cold – she was just taking her time.  I don’t think Jeri was very happy !  LOL

07

Y-A-W-N --- time for a nap.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

EXPENSE REPORT

After one year on the road I posted my expenses.  This past November 3, 2012 I was on the road for two years, however, it is only now that I’ve gotten around to reviewing my totals.

The following figures are therefore based on 26 months of being on the road (up to January 3, 2013).

No question about it – gas and campground fees are the two highest expenses.

GAS

My gas has come in at $17,657.94.  G U L P !!  That works out to be $679.15 per month.

That is still on the high side and $7,000 of that was going from Arizona back to Newfoundland and coming back to Arizona this year alone.  This gas total is also only for the RV.  I keep track of the motorcycle gas and my car gas (the car I had while I was home last Summer) separately.

 

CAMPGROUND FEES

This came in at $5,845.89.  That is an average of $224.84 per month.

The first year on the road I was in Campgrounds all the time.  I now pretty much boondock all the time.  There will be times of course whereby I still will have to go to a Campground but those times are infrequent – especially during the Winter months when I’m in Arizona.

In the  ‘campground fees’ category I included the expense of my Solar and the cost for dumping and filling my fresh water tanks when I boondock.

 

PROPANE

This came in at $1,159.67.  An average of $44.60 per month.

Propane is used for my refrigerator, stove, furnace (seldom used) and my Mr. Heater.

 

It’s those pesky little “OTHER” expenses that will kill ya.  But no sense reporting them here because they are different for everybody and definitely not consistent.

ENTERTAINING DAY ---- NOT !

This morning I glanced out the window and saw that the entire front window of this Class A was GONE !!  Too bad I didn’t see it earlier and could have gotten a pic of them taking it out.

01

I watched them for the longest time as they prepared to put the new windshield in.  Missed it !!  But it just goes to show that everything in Quartzsite is mobile !!  Imagine having such a HUGE windshield being replaced in the middle of the desert.

02

I haven’t been outside at all the last days ‘cause it’s so frikkin’ COLD !  Today I forced myself to go out for a little run.  After all, I do have all the HEATED gear.  Yes, HEATED jacket; HEATED gloves; THERMAL long johns; THERMAL socks etc. etc. etc.  By the time I geared up I was exhausted.  LOL

Decided to take a run into Parker ‘cause it’s only about 30 minutes or so and they have the cheapest smokes anywhere.  Well I ended up paying heavily for them !!

03

Yes, I got pulled over for SPEEDING !!  Just as you make that right turn to go to Walmart the speed limit is only 35 MPH.  I had been behind a very slow driver for quite awhile so after making that turn it was two lanes.  I pulled around that driver and ‘apparently’ PASSED THE POLICE CAR. Surprised smile

Sandie, It’s all your fault !!  And I wasn’t as lucky as you guys by only getting a warning.  NOPE.

Don’t know yet how much the ticket is as I cannot make out the Violation Number on my copy but the pamphlet he gave me showing all the numbers – well none of them are under $100 !!  Grrrr Devil

IT’S WINTER IN ARIZONA

I woke up this morning at 6:30AM and it was 28.7F/-1.8C and turned that awful generator on and cranked up the heat !!

I had the furnace going – my Mr. Heater going – AND a small electric heater going to warm up the place.

When I went to bed last night my batteries were fully charged but this morning they were down to 12.2.  I had set the furnace to 50F so it likely was running most of the night and sure sucked the juice out of those batteries !

Now I’m not complaining here – NO SIR EEEE !!  Merely stating a fact.

If I was not here – well then I’d be THERE……………….

1085

My home town got hit with quite the storm the other day and many places are still without power.

I got these pictures off the Internet.

1087

You ‘Southern’ folks may think this is not real.  Believe me it is.  The back basement door in my house was like this most of the Winter. 

1088

Depends on the wind direction right.  There was even one time my front door was like the following picture but my front door opened OUT so I couldn’t open it at all. I saw my neighbours out with their snow blowers but with all that noise they couldn’t hear me yelling to them. I got the smart idea of setting off the alarm on my car to alert them. That caused them to look to my house where they saw me waving. They came and shovelled me out.

1089

So Winter is Arizona is COLD right now but it is only going to last for another 4 days.

Quite a few more rigs from that Escapee Solo Group have pulled in here.  Looks like there’s gonna be lots of camp fires…

01

Yesterday three different people (at three different times) came knocking on my door to see who I was and invited me to join them.  RV Folks are like that – always so friendly.  I’m ok with one on one or even a small group.  But when it gets to be too many people I get the heebie jeebies.

I’m going to head over to La Posa South today or tomorrow to spend some time with SANDIE & JIM plus there’s a few other people in their Group that I know.  Sandie has already gotten to know me quite well and is so accepting of my ‘quirkiness’.  She said in an e-mail “We'll find you a spot off a ways cause I think its going to get crowded around here.”

Of course THELMA is also going to be there and maybe I’ll even get another ride in the JAG !!

Also good friends LMJ will be arriving here sometime next week.  This is their first year full timing and of course will be their first time experiencing Quartzsite.  I’m really looking forward to spending time with them and seeing “Q” through their eyes.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

IT’S A BIG DESERT

Yesterday while I was musing over my spot here at Q I figured at least 100 rigs could fit just in the ‘opening’ area that I am in.  That should have been my first clue.  LOL

I watched a rig pull in yesterday morning and look where he parked !  There must be hundreds (thousands ?) of acres of land here to boondock yet some people still want to park right next to you !!

02

And then I watched him go up to the road and put signs out.   Ahhhhhh, There’s a group coming in here.  The various groups (and there are tons of them) put signs out by the road to let others in their group know where they are.  You see a LOT of that this time of year in the desert.

OH NO !!!  It’s that ESCAPEE crowd.  And we all know how rowdy that bunch can get.  Pfffttt !

Running around the desert in their  NOISY JAG

– or -

Constantly nagging at me until I agreed to let them help me TOW THE BIKE out of the sand

– or -

Overseeing every step as my SOLAR WAS INSTALLED making sure I got the best work and product there is

I could give you tons more examples but you get the picture.  They are nothing was a nuisance and to be avoided at all costs !!  LOL

03

This is what Bennie has to say about this bunch…..

04

And if that’s not bad enough they are a group of ‘Solo’s’.  I can just hear my Mother saying now “How nice that you’ll have a bit of company around.”

03

Yesterday I took a run into Yuma on the bike. I had several errands to do plus with the COLD forecast ahead I figured it might be awhile before I get a run again.

Despite the fact that the “Big Tent” doesn’t open until next week – the 19th - Quartzsite appears to be in full swing. I didn’t stop to take any pics, however, as I went through the main intersection it seemed that all the Vendors are already here and open for business.

BONE CHILLING WEATHER AHEAD

BTW, Propane at Cactus Propane in Yuma is now $1.79 a Gallon.  How can the propane dealers in the Phoenix area justify over $1.00 a Gallon more !!??  As I mentioned before, we are in for several days of bone chilling temps – with overnight LOWS of below freezing.

But Folks let’s put that into perspective here.  I’ve been reading on Facebook that my hometown is also in for some nasty weather.  Here’s what it says online…..

“Total snowfall amounts will range from 25 centimetres (that’s almost a foot) over the Terra Nova area to near 70 centimetres (that’s over 2 feet) over the Northern Avalon and St. John's Metro area with locally higher amounts possible. Winds will steadily increase tonight with gusts reaching 120 km/hour (that’s over 74 MPH) by Friday morning. These high winds, combined with the heavy snow, will give near zero visibilities and blizzard conditions tonight and Friday.”

‘Nuff said – I will NOT complain about the COLD.

Today more of those Escapee people started to arrive…

Two more right across from me….this pic was taken from inside my rig.

01

Another one pulled up there…

02

But he decided he was just too far from me so settled in here……

06

Oh the Generators will be roaring tonight – and I dare say mine will be included this time !

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

HUNKERED DOWN IN Q

And I’m not budging for three weeks – that’s how long I can go before I have to do the tanks.

So I start of this relaxing period with a full tank of gas; a full tank of fresh water; empty black and grey (or is that gray ??) tanks and lots of food in the fridge.

I didn’t get to do all my setup today as it was late in the afternoon by the time I got here.  But I did get the priorities done – panels up for maximum solar input – as Bennie ponders life while enjoying the view and the awesome peace and quiet.

01

And I got the bike out.  Jeez, It feels like so long since I’ve had the bike out.

02

Guess he’s finished pondering life now ‘cause if there is anything laying on the floor it’s fair game for him to rest on.  BTW, He’s completely back to himself but I’m still putting hot water in his dry food to soften it up.  He’s eating a LOT more this way than he used to so I’ll have to watch that.

03

Here’s the finished product on the ramp door.  And as Rene said in the comments from yesterday’s post – I sure hope the work holds up and I’ll be trouble free – at least for awhile.

02

Propane (in Yuma) is $1.89 a Gallon.  In Phoenix (the cheapest place I could find it) it was $2.75 a Gallon !!!  Here in Q it is also $2.75 a Gallon.  So if you are coming to Q from Yuma fill up on your Propane there !

Speaking of propane, we’re gonna be going through lots of it in the next week.  A COLD front is coming through starting Friday with the HIGH only going to 52F/11C and the overnight LOW of 25F/-4C !!  And Friday is going to be one of the ‘warmer’ days during this COLD FRONT.  One day next week it is forecasted for a HIGH OF 46F/8C and a LOW of 21F/-6C.

I’ve been FREEZING in the mornings (while in Phoenix) and it hasn’t been anywhere near that cold.  Thank gawd I was plugged in ‘cause I had my Mr. Heater going, the furnace on AND my electric heater on.

What oh what am I going to do next week ??  Should I be worrying about pipes/water freezing or the slides ??  I’ve never been in these cold temps since I started full timing.  This forecast is right through to next Thursday the 17th.

Monday, January 7, 2013

GENERATOR AND RAMP DOOR NOW FIXED

My “TO DO” list is very long but despite having two very long days hanging around Wally’s I wasn’t in the mood to do much.

Mostly played on the Computer all of Saturday.  I’m addicted to doing these jig saw puzzles.

01

I have this small storage Unit in the Hauler and the original ‘drawers’ (the tan colour ones) are falling apart.  I bought the plastic bins at Walmart but didn’t like the look of them ‘cause you can see all the junk inside.  I happened to have some of that shelf liner stuff ( we used to call it mac tac back in ‘da day ) so I figured I’d put that on the fronts.

02

Finished product below but I’m not overly thrilled with it.  Ya it’s better that it was before but I’m still not fussy about it.  I’ll likely haul it off and put Harley stickers all over the fronts.  LOL

02A

CRIME MUST BE WAY DOWN IN AVONDALE

Saturday morning at 8:00AM (I was still in bed) I hear a loud knock at the door.  It was the POLICE !!  After checking him out carefully I did open the door.  He proceeds to tell me that there is a City Ordinance that prohibits O/N in commercial parking lots.  Ahhhh Duhhhh Could someone please tell Walmart that ‘cause they are fine with RV’ers parking in their lot.  This guy was in a chatty mood and was in no hurry to leave.  I was frozen !!  I told him I needed to stay there until Sunday afternoon and he kinda indicated that if I moved over to the other side of the parking lot I wouldn’t be seen by them from the street !! I then watched him go to all the other RV’s and knock on their doors.

So later on I did just that.  Now seein’ as I was only moving a little ways I didn’t bother to take things off the countertop or secure anything there.  I had a kettle full of water on the stove plus a medium size pot full of water from eggs I had just boiled.  You know where this is going already don’t you !!  LOL  YUP, I turned a corner and both the kettle and the pot of water flew off the stove and onto the floor.  Water everywhere !!  Well, the floor really needed to be washed anyways.

Funny thing about that stupid Police guy.  Saturday night I’m over on the other side of the parking lot (all the other RV’s are on the side I moved from) and I see two Police cars parked in an empty parking lot right next to Walmart.  Guess they were too busy chatting to bother anyone !!

VISITORS FROM WHITBOURNE, NEWFOUNDLAND

Whitbourne is a small Community about 45 minutes from my home town of St. John’s.  My friends (Paula & Dennis) live there but are in the Phoenix area now visiting their Son who lives here.

I was stuck at the Dealers all day today while the body work was getting done on my rig so they came by for a visit and lunch.  Thanks again Guys for lunch !

Here they are pulling into the parking lot.  This was the first time I’ve ever seen Paula on the back !!  She rides her own and has a gorgeous Road King.

04 

05

Even you non-rider Folks will have to admit this is one gorgeous bike !

06

They loved the special parking just for motorcycles.

07

08

10

These two are “Harley” to the core.  I’ve yet to see them NOT wearing something Harley.  I was in their home one time and it’s Harley everywhere there also.  I have NOTHING Harley in comparison to these two.

11

13

After lunch we walked around the lot looking at the 5th Wheel Toy Hauler.  I’m trying to talk them into going full-time !!

Paula really liked this one but it wasn’t a hauler.

01

Obviously I am explaining something really important to her here.  LOL

06

This one is just too small.  The bikes would be in the living area of the rig.

02

This is the outside of the one Paula really liked.

04

I think this bike suits me !!!  I’ve always been partial to a red bike.

03

Back at the ranch things are going slowly but surely on the ramp door.  The actual ‘work’ wasn’t a lot – it was the drying time in between that took so long.

01

02

03

Finally at 4:30PM the rig was ready to go !  I didn’t get a picture of the finished product – will do that tomorrow.

But now it’s too late for me to get on the road so I’m still here and will pull out tomorrow morning.

Quick stop to do the tanks and get water and then I’m heading to Quartzsite.  Will be glad to get settled again for a few weeks.