Sunday, December 31, 2017

A Bible reading plan for 2018

It is a good time to resolve to get into God's Word for 2018!

Dwayne and I both like using the YouVersion app on our phones. We can access different translations/versions and different Bible Study plans. We plan to use Solid Life "Whole Bible" Reading Plan for 2018, which is the same one we used in 2017. We like it because it takes us through the entire Bible in chronological order - so, for example, we read prophesy books at the same time as we read the history (think Kings and Chronicles) during which the prophet prophesied. It also takes us through the New Testament twice.

I am planning to change up the "study" approach that I've been using and take up the HEAR approach - Highlight, Explain, Apply, Respond - for 2018. Many of the members at our church have been using this over the past year and I'm excited to start it as well. For more information, check out this site:

There is a Bible reading plan called F260 that allows you to go through "foundational" texts in the Old and New Testaments - it is scheduled so you read 5 days a week - so you can use the weekends to catch up if needed. Here is a link to that plan:
It is also available on YouVersion - but on the app, it schedules the reading straight through the year... so you can just skip on the weekends and then use the "Catch Me Up" and "Shift Days Forward" on the app to get you back on the right days.

Let me know if you're going to be using the YouVersion app - and if you're starting a particular reading plan!

Saturday, December 30, 2017

But I didn't see Wile E. Coyote...

Walking around the campground, I frequently see some roadrunners...

I have not seen Wile E. Coyote yet though!

Friday, December 29, 2017

Tank measurements

One of the items that many (most?) RVers eventually have a problem with is knowing how full their tanks are - specifically their water/waste tanks.

We have 3 tanks on Miss Doozie - fresh water, grey water, and waste (or black) water.

The technology that is generally installed by manufacturers uses sensors inside the tank that detect whether there is water at the level of the sensor. Unfortunately, particularly on the black tank, those sensors can get dirty and read incorrectly.

In addition, there are usually just 3 or 4 sensors, so at best you know that the tank is 1/4, 1/2, 3/4, or full. Even at "full" the sensor isn't all the way at the top of the tank, so you might have a little more space, but we don't like to count on that. So, once we're at 3/4, we're thinking that we need to dump.

There is a newer technology that we've read about from other RVers that seems to work very well. It mounts on the outside of the tank and detects the density of the fluid inside. It measures from 0 to 100% full, so it also gives more precise information about the fullness of the tanks.

To prepare for ordering one of these "See Level" systems, one of the things we needed to do is find out how deep or tall our tanks are.
I guess that Blue Bird thought that its owners would not want to see their tanks, so they are not readily visible/accessible...

They are behind that panel. Thankfully, it is not too hard to remove - just a number of screws.

They also used black plastic for the waste tanks... this happens to be the black tank that Dwayne is measuring. You can see the current sensors at 1/4, 1/2, 3/4, and "full". The inlet that is just above the sensors is the black tank rinse. It is supposed to give you the ability to rinse out the tank with fresh water after you dump to help to keep the sensors clean. There is a hookup on the other side of the bus where Dwayne attaches a hose from a "city water" supply and where we can rinse for a "while" after dumping the black tank. He generally closes the black tank while he is rinsing and then dumps it again with "cleaner" water.

Next to it is the fresh water tank...

It is the tallest at just over 22".

The grey water tank is furthest to the left.
So, we've got the measurements....

We are thinking that we will order a SeeLevel monitoring system. We've done reading about other Blue Bird Owners who have installed them and think they do a great job:

Ongoing maintenance projects!

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Another way to get packages

We had placed a couple of orders to be delivered while we were in Palm Springs. The campground will accept packages from USPS and we can pick them up from the office for a $2 charge. Or... UPS and FedEx deliver to the site.

The problem is: I don't know how any given package is going to be sent! In this case, I could get a UPS or FedEx package delivered directly to the door of the bus for no additional charge... obviously that is nice!

This time, when checking out from Amazon, I decided to look up to see if there was an Amazon "locker" nearby. It turned out that there was, just about a mile down the road. So... I decided to have our Amazon Prime order shipped there (one item I was ordering was not Prime, and that order was not allowed to be sent to a locker). The package was supposed to be delivered on Friday, 12/22, by 8pm. I checked status multiple times... I wasn't sure how the process worked to get the package from the locker. Ultimately, it didn't get delivered on Friday, and there was no delivery on Saturday, Sunday, or Monday.

On Tuesday, we had two packages that were due to be delivered - one was coming to our site via UPS and the other to the Amazon locker. The UPS truck showed up at our site and we got that box. I thought about asking him if he had a package for the locker for us... but thought that he probably did not have the ability to deliver it somewhere else. A few minutes after the box arrived that was addressed to our site, I got notified that the package going to the locker had arrived there.

So, on Wednesday, we went to the locker. The address was at the local Chevron station. We cruised around for a minute or so and were about to park and go in to ask where the lockers were when Dwayne saw a set of yellow boxes outside the store.
The sun reflection makes it looks like there is a sign from above, doesn't it?!? But that's what the Amazon locker looks like.
There was a VERY difficult to read screen. It asked me to enter the code I had been sent by Amazon. There was also a bar code reader and I had gotten a bar code in an email from Amazon. The email and the notification from Amazon both came after the package was delivered to the locker.
After I entered the code, an arrow prompted me to look to the left for the open locker...
And there was our package!
It was interesting that the top of the locker was a mirrored surface so even though it was higher than head height for us, we could tell that there was only one package in there. I didn't check, but my guess is that the locker locked the door closed after we took our package out and let the door close.

This worked out well for us. I would think it would also work well for people who live in places where packages get stolen from the front porch (as seems to be common in our previous hometown of Coppell now). As I mentioned above, I guess only packages that are "fulfilled by Amazon" are eligible to go to a locker - I guess because then Amazon knows how big the package is in which the item is being shipped (not all box sizes would fit into the lockers at this location). The email from Amazon indicated that I had 3 days to pick it up or it would be returned to Amazon and we'd get a full refund.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Spring, ehr, fall, ehr, pre-winter cleaning!

While at Soledad Canyon a few weeks ago, we went through clothes that we had stored in our closets and in the storage pods on top of the bus.
We keep clothing in the pods in suitcases... 5 of them, to be exact (one of the smaller ones was outside when I took this picture). Inside the suitcases, the clothes are in large storage bags, and inside the storage pods, the suitcases are in large plastic trash bags. One of the storage pods (the one toward the front) has a tendency to leak - I think when we're driving and it is raining. We've put additional foam sealing around the lip, but it doesn't seem to make a complete solution.

We identified a number of items that no longer fit... about 4 times the amount shown here - we've already taken some to a resale shop and plan to take more once we get them washed to make sure we're donating clean items.
We are enjoying re-filling the closets with smaller sized clothes that fit!

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Can YOU see Miss Kitty?

We have a fuzzy throw that Miss Kitty particularly likes...
The difficulty is that it is nearly impossible to see her on it! This was in the daylight, but at night, she disappears completely!

When she looks up you can at least see her eyes!
We used to have the throw on the bed, but we would "lose" her on a regular basis. It has been on this chair for a while now, but we had other things on top of it. We've cleared those things off and she has re-claimed her favorite throw!

Monday, December 25, 2017

Blessed Christmas to You!

2017 Travels – starting in Marana, Arizona in January, and ending in Palm Springs, California, in December. If you want to look at the map in more detail, here is the shortened URL:

Some highlights from 2017:
January – enjoyed meeting up with friends boondocking in the desert near Quartzsite, AZ
February – returned to Yuma to enjoy the desert winter

March – started on our way back to Texas, enjoyed meeting up with Ginny and Josh.

April – prepared to sell the house in Coppell – about to become house-less!

May – closed on the house – New owners Elizabeth, Jarrod, and baby Josiah – HURRAH!!!

June – at the farm in Virginia – LOVE being with family! (Jimmy, Joseph, Ricky)

July – heading west! Visited Ark Encounter

August – Solar Eclipse Rally in Casper, Wyoming! Picture shows crescent sun through pinholes
September-October – Goal: Visit as many Thousand Trails Campgrounds in the Pacific Northwest as possible! Pictured is Mt Shuksan in upper Washington State.

End of October – November – lost a wheel/tire/brake drum on I-5 in Oregon (“You picked a fine time to leave me, Loose Wheel!”) ...

... what a blessing that no one was hurt, and we were near Henderson’s in Grants Pass to get it all fixed up!
Mid-November – December – We've wrapped up the year enjoying the warm dry weather of Southern California!

Wishing You a Blessed Christmas,
And, in 2018, a Year full of Wonders from God!
With Love from Patti and Dwayne

Saturday, December 23, 2017

What's that in the sky?

Last evening, we were outside seeing the beautiful sunset...
The reflection in the foreground is on the roof of the Jeep.


We are in a grove of date palms - they make parking big rigs here "interesting".
We decided to walk around and see Christmas decorations around the park...
There are a couple that are quite extravagant!

This is in the area where there are cottages. It looks like the cottage that has the most of the decorations may be semi-permanently occupied by the residents for the winter.

Another one has lots of decorations around their pickup truck camper - Santa on a tractor on top! The tractor is green on the back (which is where I first saw it) so I thought it was a John Deere!

The whole display! The snowman on the right shivers. He also has motion sensor music. 
The campground has a Christmas site decoration contest - we were very impressed. The winners are to be determined this afternoon (Saturday).

While we were talking with the guy who "lives" at the pickup camper display (they are just here for a week), I noticed a strange light in the sky...
What is that? When I first saw it, it looked like a very bright contrail, and then it kinda exploded into a larger object.

The owner/artist of the Christmas decorations was talking with us when we noticed it and he indicated that it was probably a rocket launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base.

Sure enough, we found information online at: - I snipped the part for this launch as it will probably be removed since it is now in the past:

Here is a news report about it:
Friends staying as far away as Mesa, Arizona saw it too - they posted this news article:

One of the articles I read ( indicated that, though the rocket delivering the satellites had been reused in the past, it was not going to be reused after this flight, so I guess that was the object we saw separating from the rest of the glow and descending to fall into the ocean.

Pretty neat to see God's majesty in painting the sky, and God's majesty in giving understanding to men to be able to put satellites into the sky as well!

Friday, December 22, 2017


Many campgrounds have a room that have tables set up with puzzles on them.

But this is the first one I've seen that has a puzzle tray storage system!
On the top are the boxes with the pictures for each puzzle by number. The trays are numbered. So, you can take out a tray for the puzzle you want to work on and put it on a table to work on it. But, when other events are going on in the room, the puzzles can be put away and the tables used for other events! How clever!

Thursday, December 21, 2017

A sign of the area

I mentioned that I went to Stater Brothers on Wednesday to use our gift cards.
I found these to be interesting parking places...

A close-up so you can see the sign!
There are SO MANY golf courses around here (20+ within about 5 miles), and the population is, for the most part, on the "older" side (I think that many may only be here in the winter). Right behind the Stater Brothers store is a golf course senior community (Del Webb Sun City Palm Desert - I guess it may be safer and easier for folks to just take their golf cart to go shopping!

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Giving back

We arrived at the Palm Springs Thousand Trails campground yesterday (Tuesday).
I noticed that they were having a blood drive on Wednesday... and giving $15 gift cards to the local grocery store (Stater Brothers)... so we made plans to go!

The donations were done in a bus... Dwayne is being prepped for his donation.

An outside picture of the bus...

It was a Blue Bird (or "Blue Bir" as the "D" was missing!).

The lady who processed my donation created a bow on the bandage! How cute! She also did Dwayne's donation, but did not give him a bow...
I went to Stater Brothers in the afternoon and used up both of our gift cards (plus some)!

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Line-ups around the campground

Just a few more pictures from Wilderness Lakes...
The waterfowl on the "lake" right behind our site.

They were very interesting to watch. The larger ones (I guess they were geese?) would parade out in a line honking and making lots of noise. Here they had just returned to the lake, led by the white one.

On Saturdays and Sundays, there was a train that would give rides through the campground for 25 cents per person.

It looked like a few kids and their parents were taking advantage of the amusement!