Friday, March 27, 2015

Sunglasses Needed

IMG_0309Larry wore this shirt to dinner tonight—it was WAY brighter than it shows in this photo—in the sunlight you really did need sunglasses!!  Emmi and I took a late evening stroll and I could see Larry and Geri a half mile out in front of me—identifiable by that shirt!!

We’ve been on the socializing circuit againSmile--Wednesday night we had the pleasure of meeting Don and Vicky from Amarillo, TX—friends of Jim and Ellie.  Jim worked his usual magic with the grill and we spent a couple hours visiting and eating—a good time as always.  Mike and Pat as well as Caryl and Jerry joined us. 

Tonight we went with Geri and Larry to Screamers Drive-In located in Wickenburg—typical drive-in food but very, very good!  I guess what I had wasn’t typical—fish tacos—but they sure were good—even if it is a long way to water around here!Winking smile

We are still taking our walks into the desert early in the morning but keeping a close eye and ear out for rattlesnakes.  Don and Vicky were staying on Mike and Pat’s extra lot and while hooking up to leave this morning they had an unwelcome visitor—a small rattlesnake. 

On this very warm day we spent a lot of time outside in our loungers reading.  I will frequently use my Kindle Unlimited membership to download free books/almost free to my iPad Kindle app.  Sometimes the books are good, other times not so good—but they are free/almost free.  One recurring problem with the self-pubished books I have read is the lack of proofreading—in every one of the books I’ve read there are misspelled words, sentences which make no sense, etc.  Publishers have hundreds of proofreaders at their disposal and authors who self publish on Amazon don’t have that luxury.  Maybe the self publish folks could send their books out to lots of friends before hitting the “publish” button?  Are there services out there which will proofread for a fee?

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DSCN0666Larry has an awesome bike—the cowboy and I rode the bike a couple days ago.  It has huge tires making it really easy to ride but a little hazardous to mount!!

DSCN0669Because Ms. Emmi is black the sun just bakes her when we are out on the ATV.  I’ve been after the cowboy to engineer her a sun shade of some sort—I guess I nagged enough!!  Isn’t it adorable—he created the frame and I made the shade from an old pillowcase.  Emmi wasn’t too thrilled but she will get used to it just like the goggles! Smile

Life is good!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Cookies And No, Not Chocolate Chip

I love cookies, almost any kind of cookies except those Fig Newtons my Daddy ate! SmileNow I rarely ever eat a store bought cookie—almost always homemade.  But enough about real cookies, let’s talk about the irritating cookies!!!

Blogs I frequently read are listed on the side of my own blog.  Sometimes when reading other blogs I will click on one of that blog writer’s favorites to access different blogs.  Last evening while clicking on blogs from my own blog such as Wheeling It or Rick’s I noticed a strange address would appear briefly in the URL bar—vindicosuites.com then the bloggers normal URL address would appear.  Hmmmm—that’s strange I thought so I had the cowboy click on a few blogs—same thing.

If we went to a blog directly from TinTeePeeLogCabin the URL would initially read vindicosuites.com then revert to the correct blogger address.  It did not matter if the blogger used WordPress or Blogger.  Then I went to The Bayfield Bunch—same thing happened, every blog I accessed from their site had that strange URL address including their own. 

I tried clearing my cache and cookies—that did nothing except irritate me all over again this morning when I had to log onto every single site I visited.  I ran a scan with Malwarebytes and with Microsoft Security Essentials—nothing, didn’t help.  I Googled the issue and here is what Google had to say:

“This domain is owned by Vindico. The main business activity is: Video Advertising Platform.  The main purpose of cookies set by this host is: Targeting/Advertising”  

GRRRRR!!!!!

But, a general thread on several of the forums was the use of Sitemeter—if removed the problem with Vindicosuites.com seemed to go away.  So, I removed Sitemeter from my blog and success—no more strange URLs----UNLESS you are visiting a blog which still has Sitemeter. 

I also went to Amazon and disabled my browsing history—that was easy and I also checked the box in Chrome settings under privacy, “Send a “Do Not Track” request with your browsing history.”  I am detailing all these steps in case I really upset the apple cart and my computer goes downhill—then I can come back to this blog and see what buttons to unclick!! Smile 

I will let you know if the problem returns!  Let’s go have some chocolate chip cookies or maybe some Snickerdoodles!!!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Woodcarving And A Visitor

North Ranch hosts a woodcarving gathering and workshop once a year as well as a beading week.  Woodcarving is happening this week and beading next week.  While neither Michael or I are woodcarvers, it is a pleasure to see all the displayed work as well as watch some of the students carving.  Our ATV friend Tom is a woodcarver and teaches some of the classes—he had some of his work on display along with other carvers.

DSCN0661DSCN0662The cowboy liked the cowboy!  So did I and I really liked what I think is called “relief” carvings Tom did especially the “ruins” piece! 

These birds were simply amazing—every part of these works of art is wood, even those feathers.  I wanted so bad to touch but of course it isn’t allowed—Sad smile

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Michael spent most of today building a shelf over the solar battery bank—he happened to read a forum comment which read something like this, “make sure your batteries are protected from falling tools.”  As in a dropped screwdriver could make a lot of sparks fly!  So, our battery bank is now protected.  We are very pleased with the system, a couple days ago we unplugged from Arizona Power and let the solar do its thing—it works!! 

North Ranch has a very nice lending library—clean, neat and well stocked.  Leave a book, take a new one.  I took two books to the library today and claimed two more.  I absolutely love to read, I am currently reading The Path Between The Seas by David McCullough—about the building of the Panama Canal.  It’s a big book—may take me a while!  Michael is reading Crazy Horse and Custer by Stephen Ambrose—Geri lent it to him. 

And speaking of Geri—remember the photos of her sandwich warming on the muffler of her ATV?  Emjay left a comment on a previous blog about a book she had found detailing how two guys actully used a car engine to prepare gourmet meals, Manifold Destiny—We purchased a copy of the book for Geri and gave it to her today—we are really looking forward to these “gourmet meals” while we are out ATVing!!

Geri has a friend, Sharon visiting from Iowa and we joined them for happy hour this afternoon after they took Sharon for an ATV ride—they saw TWO Gila monsters!!  And the owl is still there—when we went back and really examined the two photos of the owl taken at different times, she appears to be in the same wall alcove.  So maybe Nancy is right and baby owls are on the way!! 

We had a visitor this afternoon—Ray of Ray and Cindy’s RV Travels and their new puppy Penny dropped by—it was good to see Ray but Emmi was not impressed with Penny taking over her blue ball Winking smile!!  Ray and Cindy will be at North Ranch for a couple weeks—Cindy is a beader.

Lots of research going on around here, last night we purchased a downloadable book by the author of the blog Frugal-RV-Travel.  We’ve searched Nina’s blog extensively and used some of the links she suggests for finding the perfect boondocking spot—we are ready to try out those solar panels without Arizona Power as backup!  Our first spot will probably be somewhere in southern Utah—the excitement is building!

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Monday, March 23, 2015

Water In The River and A Near Miss

Another beautiful day in the Arizona desert—almost every day is a wonderful day in the desert.  Sunday we met up with the ATV gang for a casual ride—meaning we had no idea where we were going! The cowboy wanted to see if the owl was still in its spot and I wanted to see if the river still had water after the downpour last week.

IMG_1270When friends Terry and Jill were visiting Terry and Michael took ATVs out and spotted this owl in a dirt alcove above the river bed.  Geri and Larry were out with friends and spotted her again--

Geri's owlGeri’s photo—different alcove—is she sitting on eggs???  Why always in the same dirt/rock wall??

IMG_1287-001A crested saguaro and a very green desert!

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IMG_1295Yep, the river has water.  Larry did his best trying to get all of us wet but mostly succeeded in getting more water on himself than the rest of us! Winking smile

IMG_1300Fred & Nancy, Joe & KathyIMG_1301Nancy hanging on for dear life!

Geri heard the rattlesnake even over the noise of her rig as she rode by.  He was hidden underneath an overgrown mesquite tree and I did manage to see a flash of his white/black tail—he was most definitely noisy! 

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Today we braved the big city—Prescott that is.  We were also on a mission—finding a boondocking spot—success!  When you are driving a rig as long as ours it pays to scout boondocking spots with the jeep!  The temperatures are starting to warm up around here and this Montana girl has a very small temperature range, about 70 to 80 degrees—any warmer than 80 degrees and it is too hot.  Soon after Easter I would bet we are moseying north—we have plans for a Moab, Utah gathering/ride and we will slowly meander that way.  It was a good ten degrees cooler up the hill today than here in Congress.

As for the near miss—I was driving on the way home behind a Ford Expedition which kept speeding up, slowing down.  I gave them room as on that section of road there was no where to pass.  Soon we came to a spot where I knew it would be safe to pass and I speeded up to close the gap between us.  I put on my turn signal and moved into the passing lane, just as our front fender was approaching the rear of her vehicle, she put on her RIGHT turn signal—I remember thinking, “oh, dang, she is turning, I really didn’t need to pass her.” 

The next thing I know the cowboy is saying, “hey now, hey!!!!” LOUDLY!!  and I see the lady has crossed the center line and is partially into the passing lane.  I slammed on the brakes and succeeded in controlling the jeep as she then turned on her LEFT turn signal and proceeded to cross all the way over to the shoulder on the other side of the highway in front of us!! 

I almost had to stop and catch my breath—my heart was pounding and my hands were shaking—I said to Michael, “she DID have her RIGHT turn signal on, didn’t she??”  Yes she did—a very, very near miss!

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We have another ride planned for later in the week which involves a crested saguaro—life is good!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Sure, Let’s Go

The cowboy is a touch older than me and when he decided to retire at age 62, I worked for probably another couple years before jumping on the retirement band wagon, retiring at age 54.  Twenty years ago when I married Michael and retired from working in a hospital I frequently had to pinch myself—“what, I don’t have to get up at 4am and be in the operating room by 5am?”  “what, I won’t be yelled at by an egotistical surgeon today??”  Well, that was pretty good but this retirement is just one big pinch! 

No plans today, we took a walk in the desert then I did another two miles around the park by myself.  Back at the rig Larry appeared to ask if we wanted to head “up the hill” to Yarnell—some sort of music festival, vendors, lunch??  We are game, let’s go. 

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Well, the music was good but no vendors, lunch was great at the Yarnell Family Diner.  A very enjoyable time spent walking around in the little shops—any time with Larry is a guaranteed laugh a minute and the weather was perfect!  Tom is busy at the Woodcarvers gathering here at North Ranch so Sandy rode along with us.

DSCN0625Real tulips and some musicians with unique instruments. DSCN0633

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Hey Jeane, maybe these are the kind of flowers we need for our Montana gardens—metal!!  At least the cold, wind and hail wouldn’t damage them!

DSCN0647And Jill, the pigs were still there!

The cowboy plugged the coach into solar power today for the first time—he didn’t quite have all the correct settings but it was a good trial.  Tomorrow will be better! 

Life is good!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

More Solar, Rain, More Cactus and The Biltmore!

It’s done—we are generating power!  Nine batteries, six solar panels with 1530 watts of power, a 2000 watt pure sine wave inverter—we are really generating some power!  We haven’t plugged in the motorhome to this bank of power but solar is currently powering our small refrigerator and the fluorescent lights in the trailer!!  The cowboy built a box over one fender to securely hold the batteries.  He ordered all the parts—wire, terminal lugs, inverter and a crimping tool—the finished product!

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Yep, company comes and the weather turns nasty again!!  Fred and Nancy have family visiting from Oregon—they arrived last night to a pizza party hosted by their parents so they could meet some of Fred and Nancy’s friends.  The evening was much cooler than it had been and during the night it began to rain, raining most of today with way cooler temps than we’ve been having.

DSCN0585Larry and Geri took a great photo of these guys when we did the Hole in the Wall ride—had it framed and presented it to Fred and Nancy last night.DSCN0591North Ranch is still blooming, I took the ATV out last evening to capture more cactus photos--

DSCN0554Our neighbor Raymond out enjoying all the birds which flock to his yard.

DSCN0557DSCN0565DSCN0576Larry and Geri called this afternoon asking us to come for happy hour in the newly decorated “Biltmore!”  That’s what we’ve all taken to calling their new fancy tent—it came a gully washer while we were in the tent—nary a drop fell on our heads or anywhere else inside.  Larry even has a heater for our comfort!

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I think we are all a bit spoiled!  Hope you all had a fabulous Thursday!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Blooming Cactus and More Solar Stuff

DSCN0541DSCN0544North Ranch is about to be all a bloom!  The above flowers are huge, probably about eight inches in diameter—DSCN0551It seems as if every yard has some sort of blooming spiky thing in the yard—except Larry and Geri’s yard that is—Larry is allergic to cactus as in he doesn’t want anything in his yard which might stick him!

For the last few days I’ve been a bum—we go for our walk in the morning, I stick a load of laundry in the Splendide, shower, make lunch—then the bum part begins.  I’ve been sitting outside under the awning in my lounger knitting—making a little progress, ripping a little, making a little progress.  But at least I’m learning—and I’m learning to like this being a bum business too!

We went for dinner at Nichols West last night with Jim, Bev and their friends from Redding, CA—our food was delicious and the restaurant was quiet—unusual for Nichols West.

The cowboy has been a carpenter the last couple days, going to Wickenburg yesterday for lumber.  He has built a box to contain the batteries for the solar system.  Do you think NINE batteries will allow us to do just about anything we want on solar???  I told Larry and Geri when we all go to Moab and are boondocking they can just plug into our trailer!  SmileYes, the batteries are used, several of them are 2012 batteries—but they hold a charge and you can’t beat the price—Free!!

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That’s about it for our days—people are leaving—Al and Kelly left this morning and other folks are getting ready to leave—Jim and Bev will be heading out in a couple weeks.  The temps are starting to rise--80+ in the daytime, 60 at night—we rarely ever see a low as warm as 60 degrees in Montana, even in August!