Tuesday, February 28, 2017

It might not look like much...

During our time here in Yuma, we unloaded most of what we had in storage pods on the roof, and in the storage bays under the bus. As we replaced the contents, we've inventoried the items, identifying things that we should discard and recording where each item is stored in a spreadsheet so we can search for the items we have stored...
This was partially completed - we had inventoried, but had not yet put the label into the ziplock bag at the end of the box. After taking this picture, we had updated the spreadsheet with all the items and boxes, printed out the listing for each box, and put the list in the ziplock bags. We also have an alphabetical list that can be used if looking up quickly in the storage bays. The spreadsheet can also be searched softcopy - we store it online on dropbox, so we can look at the spreadsheet on our smartphones also.
Now, as is probably the case in every couple, one person is desirous of organization, and the other appreciates organization, but doesn't necessarily maintain it... so it is only reliable right now...

Monday, February 27, 2017

Dwayne's pictures from our desert drive

Dwayne also took pictures on our drive yesterday - he only shared a few with me to put onto the blog:
Wow - you can see the brilliant blue skies

detail of one of the Ocotillo plants

One of the small little purple flower plants - the blooms are about the size of a dime

Another Ocotillo with the reddish-pink flowering plant and the Jeep beyond

A small barrel type cactus - it was about the size of a basketball, right alongside a wash.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

A desert spring drive

Since we are leaving Yuma in a few days, and since we had not yet gone to see the desert along the Ogilby Road, we decided after church this morning to head out to go north up Ogilby Road to route 78 to Blythe, California and then east to Quartzsite and south down Arizona 95 back to Yuma.
Before we left the bus, we had Raspberry Cheesecake Bars that Dwayne had made with a Krusteaz mix last night - It was really beautiful and delicious too!

General route that we took
Our first stop along Ogilby Road was to take a closer look at some Ocotillo.

It wasn't in full bloom yet, but the stems were covered with leaves and it looked so swollen and pretty!

Blooms at the tops


My honey examining rocks

Another Ocotillo - wider one

Dwayne near the first one that I posted pictures of above - to give you scale

The wider one from the other side

Dwayne heading back to the Jeep to get his camera


At our second stop, there were these pretty little purple flowers - less than a dime-size in diameter

There was this large reddish-pink flowering bush near an Ocotillo at this second stop

I don't know what the name of this bush is - maybe one of my desert-dwelling or plant-knowledgeable readers will enlighten me!


Prickly Pear

Another Prickly Pear

I think that there are a couple of Chollo in the wash with a couple of Palo Verde behind

Another one of those reddish-pink flowering bushes

This mounded bush was about to explode with blooms, but not quite yet!

Plants in the wash

Closer up on the reddish-pink blossoms

There is a small rounded cactus in there with red berry-like things protruding out - the balls of the cactus were tennis ball sized and the red berry-like things about 1" long.

This Ocotillo was still barren, though the ends appeared that it might be close to blooming. I don't know why it had not put any leaves on - all the others around had lots of leaves.

I think this is another Chollo

view back across the road and the Jeep

I took this to remember the signage: Limited Use Area, All Motorized Use Limited to Designated Routes Only, Cross Country Motorized Travel Prohibited, Navigable Washes Open, Obey All Posted Signs
 I wanted to see if camping is permitted in this area... will need to do more research.

In this third place we stopped, there were great wide swaths that were flat and with nothing growing on them... they looked almost like runways out in the desert. My honey is looking at rocks...
We stopped for gas in Quartzsite, stopped by to visit friends Donna Sue and Allen at La Posa South (just beyond the "Blue Birds' Nest"), and then returned back home - about 7 hours and a fun day!

Saturday, February 25, 2017

"What's growing in Yuma?"

One of the events that we have enjoyed the last two years while in Yuma is "Lettuce Days" - a celebration of the agriculture that occurs in this area hosted by the Yuma Visitors Bureau. It has been held at the University of Arizona Yuma Agricultural Center, though that seems to have been a recent change (just for the two years we've been here). We were disappointed to see that it would not be held this year:

It appeared that a "similar" event was going to be held hosted by the city (I don't understand the difference in the two organizations): http://www.yumaaz.gov/event/heritage-festivals-events/what-s-growing-in-yuma-festival
It was to occur yesterday and today in the historic Main Street area of town. It didn't seem to me that it would have the same agricultural emphasis, and it didn't.
The Main Street was closed off

There were a few growers there - mostly date growers. We did get a basil seedling and artisan lettuce from Tanimura and Antle.

I talked with a guy who works for Gowan for a little while. As I understood what he told me, they produce chemicals for "crop protection", with their main specialty being for produce, like the vegetables grown here. They were started here in Yuma in the 1960s, and the owner was actually out talking with folks - he is probably in his 70s or 80s now. The man I was talking with was originally from India, but has been in the US for 25+ years and working for Gowan for 2 years.

Gowan is officed in the old Post Office Building, right in old town on Main Street (so their booth was right in front of their building).

This was the only tractor I saw - I think this booth may have been about the citrus growing in the area, but we didn't go in (it had a video playing inside the area on the trailer).
I also took a survey that University of Delaware was doing - on water sources for agriculture. I got $9 and a package of almonds for my time!

We preferred the format of the previous Lettuce Days, but... maybe this is easier for folks to get to... just wasn't as informative or enjoyable for us. Oh well!

Friday, February 24, 2017

Miss Kitty rolling in the sand

Miss Kitty *loves* to roll in sand, and we have a goodly quantity of sand here at our site in Yuma... Dwayne was all set with the camera, because just as soon as I put her down, she is rolling!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Back to Los Algodones

When I saw the periodontist at the end of January, she noticed a place on my upper gums where they were inflamed over two teeth. She asked me to keep a watch on it and if it didn't clear up, to come back in a month. Well... since we were going to be leaving in a month, I decided I would go back in 3 weeks if it wasn't better... it was a little better, but not completely healed up, so I made an appointment to go back to see her today.

It is good to have a record of the area in the big parking lot where we have left the Jeep...

Ready to go into my dentist's office
There were no other people in the dentist's waiting room when I got there (when we went 3 weeks ago, there were 6-8 people in the waiting room). I got taken back pretty quickly, and Dr. Lilia took a look at my gums. She said that it was looking better, but gave me a prescription for a gel to put on twice a day for 1 week and then once a day for 1 additional week:
I took a picture of the prescription so I would have a record of the instructions just in case the pharmacy gave me a label in Spanish. As it turned out, they didn't give a labeled prescription at all, just the tube of medication in a box. (The instructions and information on the box are in Spanish.) They didn't take the prescription from me (so I guess I could get it filled again if I wanted to). I don't know whether this is based on the way the pharmacies work in Los Algodones - primarily giving medications to US folks who want to get the items at a cheaper rate than what they would pay in the US - or whether this is the way prescriptions are filled throughout Mexico.
Dwayne got a $3 haircut and met me back in the waiting room of the dentist. We decided that we didn't want to do any additional shopping, so headed to the exit line (or US border entry line).

Some pictures while in line...

All along the line there are folks selling things. A lot of people purchase from these folks so I guess it is worth their while to bring their wares to this location. These folks were hanging over the fence that separates the road from the pedestrian line - a lot of folks are right there within the pedestrian line area.

The yellow things that the guy is holding are rubber chickens with a plastic suction cup so you can hang it on a window. I am sure that there is someone who wants these, but I didn't see anyone purchasing from him while we were in line. The lady to the right has a selection of hats as well as bags she is selling. There were some guys who were putting hats onto various men in line trying to convince them to buy. I didn't see anyone purchase a hat either.
 There are also a number of ladies with little kids who are selling little things (like Chiclets gum or small ornament-type things), and also folks with various physical disabilities. They get a lot of contributions from the tourists in line.

Looking down one of the side streets - all those buildings are dental offices.

I was taking a picture of my dentist's office, but I also got a picture of the Mexican flag. Based on the way I took it, you can't tell, but the flag is flying at half mast. I rarely know why the US flag is at half mast when I happen to notice it, and have to google to find out... I googled to find out why the Mexican flag was at half mast, and Wikipedia told me that there are a number of days in the year when the Mexican flag is at half mast. Today it was to commemorate the death of Francisco I. Madero (a statesman and president of Mexico who was assassinated on 22 February in 1913).
Note: we got in the line for the border crossing at about 11:25am. It took us about 40 minutes to get across. When we got to the passport check point, there were only 2 guys on duty, but just as we were at the check point (right about noon), another guy came on duty, so there were 3 folks processing the lines. So... it may have been better to get into line more around noon or a little after as the line should have moved about 50% faster.

We went shopping at Walmart on our way back to the bus...
I saw "Chicken Paws" for sale, in fact, on special -- what a deal!!! Uhm, we didn't buy them... but... if we had gotten a rubber chicken to put on our car window, I'm not certain I could have passed up the opportunity to get "Chicken Paws" to go with the rubber chicken...

Just another fun day!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

More re-stringing

We did the re-stringing on 3 shades today! We are getting better at it and have a process that works pretty well. The hardest part is melting the two strings together - I have to light the flame, Dwayne has to keep the strings in the flame long enough to catch fire and then bring the two ends together, I have to release the flame and wet my fingers and roll the two melted ends together. I have a bit of burn callous on my right thumb and forefinger at this point. I guess it is good that we don't have any fingerprint scanner security devices! (I wonder if a fingerprint reader would be impacted by the callouses...)

The only odd situation with the three we did today was the large one from the back window on the drivers side - it turned out that one part of the top of it is not well caught into the header:

The part that was not well caught to the header...

Another view

One of the nice things about this situation was that we could see how the strings were managed under the header - there is a plastic feeder that the strings go through the top of the fabric, and there would have been a grommet on the top (it is loose from where it should be attached).

Vacuuming the back of the shades.
We just have two more shades to do but decided that we had done enough today. The remaining shades are working ok, but we figure that the strings might be better off replaced since they are 17 years old and may have been subject to hot conditions and sun baking.

We may see about taking the back shade to the company that made them if we end up near Denver later this year, to see if they can correct that part that is not attached correctly. It isn't very noticeable when the shades are hung, but it would probably be better if it were corrected.