Archive for the 'retirement' Category

Tulare, CA B-17 on Display

B-17

The Better Half snapped this (clickable) image of a B-17 parked at Tulare Airport, just alongside CA SR 99. There are a number of aircraft on display with this WWII bomber and a Vietnam era F-4 Phantom parked close to the road. The B-17 is placarded with AMVETS signage by the fence in front.

We departed the Los Angeles area this morning and made our way up through “The Grapevine” mountain pass which is Interstate 5 from the north San Fernando Valley to Grapevine, CA. When we came through here last April, we had gusty winds up to 30 knots through the pass, but this time not so much winds and just a lot of traffic.

One more travel day tomorrow then we will be taking a break for the week and the Thanksgiving Holiday. If I don’t post between now and then, please have a blessed and safe Thanksgiving.

Uprighting a Drooped Ocotillo

Before and After

About two years ago, we acquired a couple of new ocotillos for the rock and cactus garden. One of them, sadly, did not completely assimilate itself on the rocky slope where we planted it. The shrub eventually sagged, leaning downhill until finally last week we noticed it was completely drooped on its side and in contact with the ground.

This morning, I decided to move the drooping shrub to a nearby, flatter location and to set it more upright. I dug out the base of the ocotillo from the sloped location, dug a hole in which to insert the big guy and plopped it down into its new location. I used a rope and some of my old Navy knots to hold it upright while I shoveled the dirt back down on its roots.

Now, hopefully, the ocotillo will recover, spread out its canes and become an attractive xeriscape asset to The Better Half’s rock and cactus garden. By the way, the other transplant is doing just fine.

Clickable image: Before and After.

Friday the 13th Chow

Cowboy Lasagna and Sides

Don’t mind the paper plate under this delicious array of good stuff. The Better Half put away one of our previous weekend cuisine specialties, leftover “Cowboy Lasagna” in the freezer a few weeks ago and she revived it today, served up with a nice salad and a slice of garlic bread. I poured shots of limoncello to complete the sumptuous dining experience.

There was nothing spooky or unlucky about this Friday the 13th. We simply had a peaceful Friday where the weather cooperated with our “second spring” by having clear, sunny skies with the waning crescent moon this morning setting in the west before noon. The temperatures were in the 70s this morning and rising to just over 90 this afternoon. It’s a good time of the year in upper Sonoran Arizona.

What’s for Dinner?

Clickable Image

We started the smoker on Friday night with a seven-pound pork butt roast and cooked it overnight with mesquite smoke in the chamber. On Saturday, we added more smoke and liquids to keep the roast moist. Prior to Dinner time, we took the roast into the kitchen and started shredding it with a pair of “bear claws.” After removing the bone and excess fat, the roast rendered over five pounds of good, lean smoked pork.

The Better Half was prepared with homemade BBQ sauce, some high quality sandwich buns and her Angel-hair Gorgonzola Cole Slaw. Yes it was quite good.

Our smoker has a nice remote control which allows us to monitor and adjust the smoker (which sits outside near the garage) from the office where our computers and a TV are located. Regardless of the remote access, we still have to add wood chips and liquids to the smoker by physically being there.

The (clickable) image above shows the smoker, the finished pork roast, the dinner plate and the remote.

Enjoying the Spa in the Summertime

Being Prepared

During the Summer Months, The Better Half and I keep the spa at temperatures in the mid-eighties to ninety degrees F. That is plenty cool enough to contrast with our normal daytime temperatures of 100 degrees plus. Once in the spa, the water cools us right down.

Prior to getting in, we go through our Spa Checklist:

  • Towels for drying when getting out - check
  • Drinking water - check
  • Water temperature/level OK - check
  • Spa jets activated - check
  • Personal defense accounted for - check

We aren’t terribly remote from civilization, but our lot size is the better part of an acre isolated on three sides by hilly, natural desert. If some danger were to present itself in the two-legged form, it would likely have to enter via the driveway which encircles the house. If something like that sort of threat were to occur while we’re in the spa, we want to ensure our personal protection by providing for that ourselves, thus the loaded Glock 30 (Fat Man) next to the spa.

The day I took this photo, the temperature on the patio was 105° in the shade and the water temperature was 87° in the spa. TBH and I had an enjoyable fifteen or twenty minute dip in the spa. Clickable image.

Another Milestone

seven-four.pngAs of about 3PM this afternoon I have officially made seventy-four trips around the sun. By the grace of God and the phenomenon of modern medicine, I am still here to brag about my longevity.

The Better Half prepared a wonderful corned beef dinner for us, complete with strawberry shortcake dessert with a lit candle embedded in the whipped cream. :)

We will be celebrating for the remainder of the weekend. Tomorrow, I will be doing surf ‘n’ turf on the grill with filet mignon steaks and Atlantic salmon. That will be served with grilled corn-on-the-cob and TBH’s bacon, cheese and pea salad. I had a taste of the latter just now and it’s some real good stuff. TBH prepares it today and refrigerates it overnight.

I hope that everybody will be having as great a weekend as we are having here.

Do It Yourself RV Repair

RV Screen Door LatchA few weeks ago, we had the big RV down to the dealer in Avondale for some warranty work. We squawked several items, most of which were resolved to our satisfaction. One additional squawk that popped up due to one of the technicians errors was a broken latch for the screen door.

(Clickable) Image: The New Screen Door Latch

Our service advisor immediately ordered a replacement part for the door. In the meantime, we accepted the RV as it was and brought it home.

To shorten the story, the part arrived at the dealer’s place and the service advisor told us that we could pick it up. Well, the dealer’s location in Avondale is a one hundred mile round trip for us. I asked the advisor if they could ship the part to us. He went one better and said that since he commuted to his place just a few miles south of Wickenburg that he would meet us and hand over the part. We drove to a Family Dollar store and met him there.

We’re not used to someone going the extra customer service mile (actually several) to accommodate us. We thanked him profusely and took our latch home and installed it this morning. #campingworldofavondale

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