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dooley's Blog


Category: Daily Happenings | Posted: Sun Feb 19, 2006 4:10 am

We went to Phoenix today. Another 100 miles on the truck. We've been putting a lot of miles on it this week. We drove over 500 miles so far. The week started on Wednesday for this milage. Brian has been going up and down in altitude too much. It has affected his ears so I guess we will stay home now. It was warmer in Phoenix but I didn't think it was overly warm. I didn't take off my sweater. My sister's grandchildren were wearing shorts and sleeveless shirts and no shoes. My niece has a baby 3 months old. He is very small as he was several weeks premature. I got to hold him until he started crying because he needed fed. I gave him back to mama. He's a cutie though. My sister from California was there with her three boys. She is 17 years younger than I am so her oldest is in college and her youngest is only 13. Those boys are tall and skinny. Thin they said. They all play in marching bands. Clarinet and tuba and french horn. The oldest travels in summer with a drum corp. He's the one with the tuba. Her husband was in Iraq for a year. He may have to go back but she said not before November. She will have two in college then and one at home. They all have cell phones and are having some problems with them. She has a family plan and sometimes the signals get crossed. The one who is 17 has voice mail with his. Lately when he calls to check his mail, his 13 year old brother's phone rings and he can listen to all the voice mail for his 17 year old brother, including the ones from the girl friend. That does lead to problems because the 13 year old has not learned discretion. He tells what he hears. The oldest is 20 and was complaining about text messaging on his phone. She told him to cancel the service and get his own plan. I'm happy that they didn't have cell phones when my boys were that age. Even with a family plan their phone bills must be huge. They also have a home land line phone for their computer because they do not have cable where they live. We came home early so we could come up the mountain before it got dark. It's bad enough coming up the winding curves in daylight. Traffic was really bad today. I don't know where everyone was going. But, it's President's Day on Monday so everyone or some have a three day weekend. There is no snow on the ski hills in Arizona so they aren't going skiing. I did hear there might be some snow tonight in the high country. That's above 6,000 feet. Maybe we will get some rain, but probably not. Oh, well! I will have to water things tomorrow. Today, I just watered the things in pots. My spinach is still growing.
We bought some paint to repair the bridge. maybe I will get a picture of it. My daffodils have buds on them. They aren't very high yet though. Maybe they will still grow some before they bloom. Some tulips are about six inches high. some haven't come up yet. They must be confused by the weather, too. I received another seed catalog in the mail and a postcard from a local nursery. Someone must think spring is coming. My herb seeds still haven't come. Brian wanted to buy potting soil today but I told him not until the seeds come. I looked at vegetable and flower seeds in the store but I didn't buy any. Regardless of the warm days it isn't time to plant a garden. But, I could start things in pots if the seeds would arrive. No mail until Tuesday though. It's still too windy to do things outside anyway. Maybe I'll make a bear tomorrow. That will keep me out of trouble. Dooley

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Category: Daily Happenings | Posted: Sat Feb 18, 2006 7:25 pm

Quartzsite is name after the mineral quartz. A lot of times where you find quartz you also find gold. There are a lot of rocks and minerals found near quartzsite so rockhounds like the area. In the winter, thousands of people come to the area looking for a warm spot to winter.. I'm not sure why they choose Quartzsite. Warm is about the only thing going for it. There were permanent signs along the highway that said, "Blowing dust area." It means that the day we were there wasn't the only dusty day.
Do you know how animals and sometimes people mill around not knowing where to go or what to do? That is how Quartzsite appeared to me. Only the people were in motor homes and trucks pulling trailers. There are about 75 RV parks in Quartzsite. There are a lot of big gem and mineral shows and some big flea markets. Only everything seemed to be closed up because of the wind and dust. We inquired about motels or places to stay and were told the best places were across the state line in California. We couldn't find a place to eat so snacked on the cheese and crackers we had taken with us.
We did drive to Ehrenberg which is the small town on the state line. It didn't even have any stores. I wonder how people survive with having to drive 40 or 50 miles to shop for groceries. All the little towns seemed to have convenience marts but they were expensive so you couldn't live cheaply by shopping in them.
We decided that our course of action would be to get on the interstate highway and go back to Phoenix.
Interstate 10 goes across the country from California to Florida. It would take you four or five days to drive the whole way. It is used a lot by truckers. The right lane was bumper to bumper semi-trucks. But they were all driving the same speed and not cutting in and out. Cars were mostly using the left lane and traffic was going smoothly. We made good time and arrived back in Phoenix by 5 pm. We saw the exit that we could get off and visit a friend so we did that for a bit of time.
We found an International House of Pancakes and had our evening meal. Then, we found a motel and crashed for the night. In the morning (Thursday) we did some shopping. We found an organic bulk food store when we were looking for another shop. We bought several types of vegetables and some polenta meal and some fructose and dried fruits. We never did find the other shop. We considered stopping at my sister's house, but decided since we were going there on Saturday that we would just get on the Interstate 17 and head for home. It wasn't quite as windy on Thursday. We stopped at Anthem, which is a huge housing developement with shops. We went to WalMart and found a friend working there so stopped to visit with him for a bit. We did some grocery shopping and then headed on up the hill. We got home about two pm. Everyone was surprised to see us so early but we were ready to be home.
It seems it was windy at home too. Chairs and tables were knocked over. A piece of the gardenshed roof was on the ground. The trash dumpster was on it's side and a ladder that was on the gardenshed roof was on the ground. So, we spent a while picking things up and sorting them out. Brian fixed the roof in short order. Chance was happy to see us back. She's been sticking close since we got back. Our neighbor fed her and played in the yard with her. She likes the neighbor but she was happy to see Brian. She does follow him most of the time. She thinks she's human, you see.

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two day trek

Category: Daily Happenings | Posted: Sat Feb 18, 2006 4:43 am

Well, we did our two day trek. It was a little windy and cool here when we left but we figured it would be okay once we got down the mountain to the flatland. It just got a little more windy. We made it to Wickenburg by noon so we stopped and had a little lunch and walked around a bit. then, we started west Rt. 60. That is a two lane state route. It's relatively straight and flat. After we left Wickenburg proper, there was no one behind me until we got to Aguila. We passed through Gladden. Nothing there except one RV park. Nothing else at all. The land was flat with scrubby bushes. You could see mountains in the distance on either side of the road. It kept getting more windy. As you approach Aguila there were big machines preparing the land for planting cotton. As they were plowing up the ground, the wind was blowing it away. The air was thick with dirt and dust. We had to slow down a lot as visibility was near zero. Some fields were planted and the rows were covered with row covers and in between were the little ditches for irrigation. We passed through Aguila and it was still dusty and you could only see along the edges of the road. There were a few other cars. It stayed windy and dusty the whole day. The dust and blowing dirt started to make my eyes burn. My wrists were aching from keeping the truck on the straight and narrow.
We came to Wenden. It's not much but a few buildings, but they do have a school for farm workers children and some children are bused from nearby areas.(within 40 miles). There is another road leading north from Wenden that goes to a state park and Alamo Lake. It has RV parks and fishing camps on it.
We stopped in Salome. It has about 2,000 people in the winter. We drove around the streets and came to a developement called Indian Hills. It was laid out in a square grid with fenced plots where people come in the winter and live in motorhomes and small trailers. They have an airpark too where small planes can land. There was a library at the airpark so we turned onto the street and there was a big sign that read, "Airplanes have the right of way." Well, the street was also the runway for the planes. We quickly turned into the parking lot and investigated the library. It is only open 25 hours per week. It was a nice small library with computers for patron use. The librarian said it is usually busy in the winter, but when the people take their motorhomes and trailers and go north for the summer it sort of quits. They do have migrant workers that harvest the cotton and vegetables that they grow. We wanted to stay there for a while longer but there was nothing else to do. So, we proceeded along to the Interstate to Quartzsite.
I must apologize for no pictures. We had our camera but it was so windy and dusty that we didn't stop to take pictures. More on Quartzsite tomorrow. Dooley

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Category: Daily Happenings | Posted: Tue Feb 07, 2006 4:52 pm

We have lived in Arizona for 17 years now. Time sure flies when you are having fun. Anyway, we haven't explored much of the state for one reason or another. We've just gone to the usual tourist places. Last week we bought a map of Arizona and decided we'd try to visit a place we haven't seen at least once a month. After all, we are supposed to be retired. We had to just make the time and we are only going to be gone for two days. We decided to go to Wickenberg. We've already been there many times but it's a starting point. We'll take route 60 southeast to Quartzsite. There are a lot of gem and mineral people there this time of the year. There are also a lot of flea markets set up around Quartzsite. There are several small towns along the way to explore, too. First is Aguila, Gladden, Wenden, Salome, Hope, Vicksburg, Brenda and then Quartzsite. We think we may go on to the Colorado River, There is Ehrenberg on the Arizona side and Blythe on the California side. Then, maybe up to Parker. That's on the Arizona side and on or near the Colorado River Indian Reservation. I'm not sure what Indians live on that reservation. I should look it up before we go. The ones near Prescott are Yavapai Apache. See, I've lived here quite a long time and haven't learned all about the state. The area along route 60 is McMullen Valley. It's between two mountain ranges and is farming country. They grow cotton, vegetables and melons. Their water allotment comes from the Colorado River. Six states share water from the river. There is a commission that regulates the water. California gets the largest share. Their population is large and they are always trying to buy shares from the other states. Water is a big problem for the desert states. They aren't all desert but enough to have huge dry areas and low rain areas. I will take our camera and see if I can get some pictures of plant life in the area. I can't say that we'll see much animal life. Many we'll see a few new kinds of bugs. It's not much above sea level so with the heat there will be scorpions (Ugh!) and snakes. If we stay on the main routes we shouldn't be bothered too much by them. I've been on the internet all week looking up various places and points of interest. I found a place to stay for the one night. It's at least reasonable. Most places wanted over $100.00 a night for lodging. I think those were the big chain motels. I found a local one. We'll have to drive by it early and see if it looks okay. Else, we'll have to go to one of the chain motels. You get more of the local feel of a place if you can stay at a local place. There were no pictures on the internet of the local places though. Dan has been down that road to Quartzsite when he was test driving for a car manufacturer. He says there isn't much to see. But, he was driving at night so what could he see. It's time to stop and go to the library. There's just too many things to do when you are retired. It seems like more than when you are working and raising a family. I thought there would be more time to do things. Daily living sure takes a lot of time. But, then, what else to we have to do.

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Category: Yard work! | Posted: Wed Feb 01, 2006 12:22 am

It was so nice on Monday that I cleaned the leaves and debris out from under the mulberry tree. I don't usually have much trouble with the dry leaves. The bulbs were coming up under the leaves and they definitely needed more sun. They were white and yellow instead of green. I gave everything a good watering. They are beginning to look better. I wonder if they will turn green now or just the new part will be green. The tulips are not up yet, just the daffodils and grape hyacinths and dutch iris's.
Yesterday, when I got up, my eyes were itchy and my nose was stuffed up. As soon as I got up my nose started dripping and then running. I must have used half a box of kleenex. I finally gave up and took an allergy pill. I try to use those as little as possible. I'm really not looking forward to spring pollen. Today, it's better so maybe I can go out and do some other things tomorrow.
The spinach hasn't come up yet. I decided to keep the poly stuff on it during the day, too. The soil is still damp so it should be okay. I didn't get my greenhouse yet. Brian says he has to finish closing the carport. It has one and one half walls now. My exercise equipment is there. At least now everyone who drives past doesn't stare at me.
Dan is here. More later

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