Archive for the 'retirement' Category

Updated Aerial View

2017 Aerial View

Last June we posted an updated aerial shot of the homestead courtesy of the Maricopa County Assessor’s website. I was surprised to see an update for 2017 of our property, but here it is. There is not much changed from the last aerial except this time, the RV is not parked in its spot behind the garage and the runoff creek on the west side of the property is clearly complete in the new photo.

There are some other minor things that appear in the comparison of the last versus the current including some changes to the shrubbery in the courtyard and elsewhere. We are still a work in progress on a smaller scale, but even those are important to us. We have a project of bringing rocks to the east of the driveway to keep the monsoon runoff from undermining the concrete on that side. That should be complete before the summertime, so we should be OK there.

It has been interesting to watch the progress we have made since first starting to build the house in 2010. We may never be “absolutely complete,” but we’re asymptotically approaching that point.

National Team Roping

Team Roping

This is the first year that The Better Half and I have made an effort to go out to the Rancho Rio rodeo grounds and witness some of this week’s final National Team Roping championship ropers do their thing. We have been talking about doing this for a long time, but being basically reclusive in our retirement, we have been sitting it out. Today, however, on a whim, we decided to head out to the arena by the Hassayampa and check it out.

TBH took the (clickable) image above of a roping team just at the point where they both had ropes on the steer and were about to take him down. As I recall, this team had a eight second or so time which was pretty good although there were better times later in the session.

We were there for about an hour or so and besides the action in the arena, there were commercial booths, horses, dogs and cattle everywhere and about several hundred horse and livestock trailers plus motorhomes, trucks, cars and sand rail ORVs. AND it was a beautiful spring day with the high temperature under mostly blue skies at about 80 degrees. Today was most enjoyable.

Satellite RX to Go

Deployed Stowed

You may have read here and on the other blog about our new motorhome. Having graduated form an “entry level” RV to this new one encouraged us to ask for a number of desired add-ons, one of which is satellite TV reception.

Since we are already DirecTV™ customers, we opted for the Winegard™ satellite system which is DTV compatible. In the clickable images above, you can see the rooftop satellite dish deployed and in the stowed position.

I got the satellite antenna system and the DTV receiver activated today. I first had to turn the satellite dish control on and it began auto acquisition of several satellites in the “constellation” of geosynchronous birds. That process took a while with the system retrying several times before locking on. But, when that was complete, it was all downhill. I got on the phone with the DTV folks who walked me through the rest of the setup.

After that process was complete, we now have very satisfying HDTV reception on the three TVs in the motorhome - a 48″ TV in the parlor, a 32″ TV in the bedroom and another 32″ TV behind an access door outside on the passenger side of the rig for outdoor viewing. I verified that all were working as advertised.

Having the satellite system gains us independence from the limited and often flaky cable access in many of the RV parks we have visited, and, in fact, we can now camp in areas with no hookups and still be able to enjoy our TV entertainment.

Don’t Blink

The “Arizona Outback” is a colorful and intriguing part of our state that is mostly situated in La Paz County to the west of Wickenburg. There are several communities along US 60 and SR 72 where the lifestyle is largely agricultural with the a few other jobs in support (stores, cafes, motels, RV parks, etc.).

One of the communities is diminutive, even when compared to the other small towns and settlements out there. That is Gladden, pictured above, where there is a ranch with livestock, a motel and an RV park. When you pass through Gladden along US 60, do not blink, or you will miss it. There is not even a reduced speed limit imposed in Gladden since there aren’t any cross streets to consider.

The Better Half took this clickable image of almost all of the town as we passed through there on Friday. We are in Palm Desert, CA, tonight through Monday, when we will return to Arizona and resume retirement. (That’s a funny concept, taking a vacation from retirement.)

Limoncello Season

Lemon Tree

The Better Half and I stripped all of the fruit from our lemon tree a couple of days ago. The lemons are in a bin outside, ripening and awaiting their ultimate fate.

First, many of them will be distributed to neighbors and a local charity for cooking and other uses as they see fit. Second, the balance of them will be have their rinds stripped and steeped in spirits with the ultimate fate to become a key ingredient for this years limoncello production. The stripped and squeezed lemons will become lemon juice frozen into ice cube trays initially and when frozen to be bagged in the freezer and removed piecemeal when lemon juice is needed for The Better Half’s various recipes.

We will be bottling the limoncello to give to friends and family in the coming months. When we travel, we always carry a few bottles for distribution since the USPS forbids shipping alcoholic products in regular mail. The other carriers (UPS, etc.) have bizarre rules which are also prohibitive in shipping this golden nectar.

Needless to say, there are always several bottles we keep here for our own use and potentially as gifts to our visitors. C’mon down to warm, sunny Arizona and claim yours!

Healthcare Status Update

nullWe postponed a few healthcare issues until after our September excursion, so October has had a few routine and some special healthcare appointments. Among the routine, we had our dental and medical periodic check-ups and among the special, we have undergone a couple of procedures. The routine exams went OK, with some minor mods to The Better Half’s medications and both of our dental checkups have shown improvement in some troubled areas that seem to be getting under control.

As for the not-so-routine issues, the urologist excised another very small tumor from my bladder for which the lab report is still impending. There is a possibility that the doctor will have me back in the outpatient procedure to resection a portion of the bladder wall. I will find out next week both the results of the biopsy and the verdict on more bladder surgery.

I would call the above a pain in the ass, but after another in-the-office procedure last Friday, an external thrombosis in my lowest G.I. component wins the pain in the ass award. It’s healing nicely, but still a P.I.A. Prognosis for a complete recovery is good.

We’re hanging in there for the time being and will update with more when we find out the details.

What’s For Dinner?


The weather hasn’t quite turned to autumn-like conditions just yet with the daytime highs still in the upper 80’s to lower 90’s. Soup weather isn’t here but, in spite of that, The Better Half brewed up some really good Saimin (Asian/Hawaiian noodle soup) this afternoon with noodles, veggies and leftover chicken and pork. This was really tasty when served with a Chinese Tsingtao Beer.

We’re taking the month of October to get some things done since we were on the road for a couple of weeks in September. I had some back spasms yesterday, so I didn’t get to some of the heavier chores that need to be done, but that will come next week. For the weekend, we’re relaxing and TBH has some good meals planned including a tri-tip roast that I will put on the grill on Sunday.

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