Heidi (in front) - The Staff to Rylie

Heidi (in front) - The Staff to Rylie
Heidi (in front) - The Staff to Rylie

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Los Algodones, Mexico

I couldn't come to Yuma and not go to Mexico, since it is only a hop, skip and a jump from here. Norm and Jerri have been there a few times to have dental work done at a fraction of the price, get cheap prescription drugs and other stuff, so they showed me around. We watched some of the artisans doing their crafts, like the guys who paint amazing scenes on vases, lanterns, satellite dishes -- you name it. They do it with paint from spray cans and only paper, cardboard or plastic bags for brushes. I couldn't believe how quickly they completed their art work. We also saw a young woman weaving a table runner on her knees on the sidewalk with a hand-held loom.

There are many shops with the same trinkets, and all of the workers are trying to make a sale, so you have to get used to their salesmanship. I love the bright colors that are so prevalent in the Latino culture, and I bought a couple of small pottery items. We had a lunch of shrimp tacos at a little taco stand, which you see below.

Taco Stand

While we were walking around we saw a park that had a view of the back side of Pilot Knob, the hill we hiked the other day.

Back View of Pilot Knob

When it was time to cross the border back into the states, we had to wait a bit in line. There are so many people that cross the border every day for their dental and other work, prescription drugs and shopping, and the lines gets longer as more snowbirds come to Yuma for the winter.

Border Crossing Line

Norm and Jerri

Norm and Jerri left for Baja for the winter shortly after our day in Algadones. I sure wish I could have followed them down to the beach for the winter. What a wonderful experience that was, and such a different way of living than we are used to in the hectic ratrace of life in America.

Rylie's Notes:

What is this ratrace that The Staff speaks of? Dogs don't know the ratrace. Our days are filled with scent-filled walks, long, leisurely naps, chasing squirrels, cats, or whatever else will move quickly, and figuring out how to get more treats. We show equal interest in bugs, trash, and the message left by the previous dog. The world is filled with interesting things, but people rarely notice them.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Pilot Knob

View from the top of Pilot Knob

Last week I met Norm and Jerri out on the BLM land they are camped on at Pilot Knob, and we hiked up the hill. You can see forever from up there, but most of it is bare desert. A bit like the moon, I think. You can also see Los Algodones, Mexico, but the sun was in that direction so I couldn't get a photo. One of the little specks that you see in the photo above is Norm and Jerri's motorhome.

Another View from Pilot Knob

Norm and Jerri

Norm and Jerri are camped here near Yuma until they cross the border and head to Baja again this week. I sure wish I were going with them. I envy all of these retired folks, especially the ones that were lucky enough to retire early.

I'm still loving the weather in Yuma. It is in the low 80's these days, and almost always sunny. It does get windy here and there, but that's a small price to pay for all of this sunshine.

My water heater went on the fritz this past week. I removed the circuit board and took that in to be tested, but it was fine, so I called the RV tech to come out. It turns out that the burner was set too high and it burned out the thermo fuse. He had to test it with a special tool, so there's no way I could have figured that out on my own. He got it replaced and adjusted the burner, so I'm in hot water again. I was happy that I didn't have to replace the circuit board, because those are a bit pricey.

Rylie's Notes:

I have been training The Staff to run more on our morning walks. She is still pretty slow, but maybe eventually she'll be able to keep up with me. On second thought, I don't think so.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Goats, Dancing, and Refrigerators

Because I often work in rural areas, I am no stranger to livestock. However, I'm not accustomed to having goats on top of my car. The other day I drove up to a home and knocked on the door to show an aerial photo. While I was doing so, a herd of five goats approached my car, and two of them hopped up on the trunk. From there they proceeded to the roof, until I scurried over there to shoo them off. They took their exit over the hood, so now I have goat hoof scratches over the entire top surface of my car, plus a little dent in the roof. I guess this job comes with unusual hazards. I wonder if my insurance covers goat damage.

On Wednesday night they had another dance here at the RV park. This one was a lot more fun because they had a good band that played 50's and 60's music. These retired folks can get down! I had fun dancing and there was good energy in the crowd.

I learned recently that my refrigerator is included in the expanded Dometic recall list, so I had an RV tech out this week to do the recall repair work. It was surprisingly simple, but apparently it is hard to find an RV tech willing to come out and do the work, since Dometic doesn't pay them very much. I'm glad to have that done, and I think I'll have the RV tech out again to do some more work for me before I leave.

On Thursday I had dinner with Norm and Jerri, my good pals from Baja. They are stopped in Yuma on their way to Baja again. I always have fun with them. I sure would love to be heading to Baja with them, but some of us have to work for a living. Tomorrow we are going for a hike.

Rylie's Notes:

It's too bad The Staff doesn't bring me to work with her, because I could have kept those goats off the car. I could have fixed the refrigerator too, but there's no way I would get out on the dance floor. It's not dignified.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Thar She Blows

Today was a blustery day, as Winnie would say. There was quite a dust storm brewing as I was driving to work. The visibility was poor, and it almost looked like fog. I was only able to work for an hour before the dirt drove me home. There is a lot of dirt in Yuma to be blown around, and the area where I'm working is mostly dirt roads. I had dirt in my eyes and my throat, and it was accumulating on the photos, so I had to pack it in. Instead I did something I haven't done for a very long time: I had a double feature movie afternoon. I watched 21 and No Country for Old Men. I thought both were pretty good, although No Country was pretty depressing (and violent) and the ending left me feeling unsatisfied. The wind was blowing all sorts of things around the RV park, and it even blew off one of my tire covers.

Recently I learned how to play Texas Hold Em online for free, so I'm hoping to get better at that. I'm pretty terrible so far. But I can see how it might be addicting and become a big time vacuum. I also played cribbage at the clubhouse here on my day off. They have a lot of activities going on here, but most of them seem to be while I'm working. As my work days get shorter with the decreased daylight, I might be able to participate in more of the activities.

Rylie's Notes:

Windy days are exhilarating. They produce a smorgasbord of smells that bombard the sensitive noses of dogs. It's almost as good as riding in the car with your head out the window.

Sunday, November 02, 2008


Phyllis at the Halloween Dance

I didn't go trick or treating, but after work I did dress up in a poodle skirt costume and go to a Halloween party here at the RV park. They even had a band, so I did a little dancing. The folks here are very nice and friendly, and they always have a lot of activities going on.

Me in My Costume

The temperature has still been in the mid-90's here, but today was a little cooler. It seems weird to be having such hot weather at this time of year, but I do like the sunshine. I also have been enjoying going for a swim in the pool now and then. I think it's supposed to be in the 80's now and cooler at night, so that should be perfect. Sales continue to go well, and I feel fortunate to be here.

In other news, Rylie lost 1-1/2 pounds! I can tell he is feeling better, because he wants to run more on our morning walks. Tonight I had him in the off-leash dog area and he was tearing around like a puppy. It's good to see him having fun, since I can't get him to fetch a ball or anything else, and he rarely plays with other dogs. I thought he was a fuddy duddy, but I guess he still has some get up and go.

Rylie's Notes:

I'm the fuddy duddy? I've just been trying to get The Staff moving, since all she seems to do is work and sit at the computer. And why would I want to fetch a ball? Every time I go pick it up for her and bring it back, she just throws it again. She is a like a baby that keeps throwing a toy on the floor just to watch someone pick it up. Where is the sense in that?