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Sat. Sept. 16 to Fri. Sept. 23- New Mexico to Big Bend Texas Part 2

Now I can’t even put in ANY pictures. I have contacted support and am going to post just to get it done. Once I find out what is wrong, I will come back and put the pictures into the blog.

Tuesday- We drove the Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive. This is a 25-mile drive which was extremely interesting. Our first stop was at the Sam Neil ranch. The family lived in a two-room adobe there and raised goats and sheep. The home was shaded by a soapberry tree. It is located far from anywhere! There is a short path that leads to the abandoned old ranch building along the Cottonwood Creek.

The next stop was the “Fins of Fire” It was an example of intrusive (cooled underground) and extrusive (cooled on the surface) igneous formations These are abundant in the Big Bend. The volcanos, which formed Big Bed form walls across the landscape.

Our next stop was at the Homer Wilson Ranch. Homer Wilson bought land in the foothills for a sheep and goat operation. The ranch was 45,000 acres There is a circular corral behind the house and another house for the foreman.

Our next stop was at Sotol Vista. From this spot you can see the western side of the park.

We continued on to Goat Mountain. Big Bend has a history of fiery, geologically violent eruptions. At this stop we learned how the collapsing calderas, steaming volcanic bents and super-hot pyroclastic flows created Goat Mountain.

We stopped at the Mule Ears overlook. The Mule Ear Peaks are two distinctive eroded rhyolite dikes.

Next, we stopped at Tuff Canyon. There are three viewing platforms. Park visitors are able to hike through the canyon.

Below is Cerro Castellan. The picture shows the striking evidence of millions of years of colonic activity in Big Bend.

We continued on to the Castolon Historic District. The buildings are remnants of the pioneer and military history of the park. The Hispanic culture of the area was a melding of the Spanish and indigenous people of the region. Later, the Anglo-American settlers entered the area and learned survival methods from the previous settlers. This resulted in a bicultural community with the Mexican settlers. In 1910, the Mexican Revolution occurred, and bandits crossed the river and raided the small border communities. This resulted in some of the families on both sides of the border, to abandon their homes.

In 1916, the War Department sent in troops to protect the area. A permanent post was started in 1919 and completed in 1920. After the revolution ended, the troops were moved elsewhere. In 1925, the La Harmonia Company purchased the buildings, and the La Harmonia store was moved into the barracks building. A post office was added and closed in 1954. The store remained until 1961, when it was incorporated into the NP. In 2019, a fire jumped the river and damaged the building. It is going to be rebuilt. We ate our lunch here, sitting in the car. There is a small store that was open. We purchased a hat there for Bob as he had left his hat back at the rig. There are still several houses there, but they were all closed to visitors.

Our next stop was at the Desert Mountain Overlook. Emory Peak, which is 16 miles away, is a full mile higher in elevation the overlook.

We stopped at the Santa Elana Canyon River takeout. The rest of the road was closed, and we were not able to visit the Santa Elana Canyon, which is considered the most dramatically beautiful spot in the park. It is so flooded, and full of mud, the park will not be opening the area for at least another week. Hopefully the river pictures will show how fast the river is flowing.

We retraced our drive, back to the main road. On the way out of the park, we could now see the Mule Ears and the other sites we had visited, and now knew what they were, off in the distance.

This evening we had a happy hour which was BYOB.

Sat. Sept. 16 to Fri. Sept. 23- New Mexico to Big Bend Texas   Part 1  

I have given up! I have tried and tried to get all the pictures into these blogs. I would get frustrated and walk away. That is why these are so late. I am finally going to do them by the day, but even then, I still cannot get all the pictures I want into the blog.

Saturday- We left around 9:30 and traveled east. We stopped at the Walmart in El Paso for diesel. $4.39/gal. It was over $5 at all the other stations.

We continued the almost 30 miles through El Paso on I-10. I have always hated El Paso. My opinion has not changed since 1975, the first time I was there.

In Van Horne, we turned south onto Hwy. 90. Our destination for the day was Marfa, a small Texas town. We had a reservation at Tumble in Marfa RV Park, $31 for FHU 30 amp, back in site. It was, of course, located right next to the railroad tracks on the south side of town.

We checked in and parked the rig. Then we went back north into town. Not too long ago, there had been an article in the Washington Post about Marfa. Bob had sent it to me. We went searching for some of the sites. There is not much to the town. They have a pretty peach colored county building and some art deco buildings. Nothing exciting, compared to other places that we have visited.

We did want to see the famous “Marfa Lights”.  From Wikipedia “The Marfa lights, also known as the Marfa ghost lights, have been observed near U.S. Route 67 on Mitchell Flat east of MarfaTexas, in the United States. They have gained some fame as onlookers have attributed them to paranormal phenomena such as ghostsUFOs, or will-o’-the-wisp. Scientific research suggests that most, if not all, are atmospheric reflections of automobile headlights and campfires.”

“The first historical record of the Marfa lights was in 1883 when a young cowhand, Robert Reed Ellison, saw a flickering light while he was driving cattle through Paisano Pass and wondered if it was the campfire of Apache Indians. Other settlers told him they often saw the lights, but that when they investigated they found no ashes or other evidence of a campsite.[5] Joe and Anne Humphreys next reported seeing the lights in 1885.”

We drove the 9 miles south to the view area, taking the dogs with us. We could definitely see what they were talking about. We could see 1 set of blinking red lights, which were airport beacons, but the white lights were what we saw and what they described. They definitely were moving in erratic movements. Here are our pictures. They would appear and disappear. We did not see any cars that would explain the lights and no campfires. The lights were in an empty area of the desert. All I can say, is if you don’t believe us, go see them for yourselves!

We had taken the dogs with us, and they behaved very well. They sniffed then laid down and just people watched. There were about 12 people there when we arrived. More people arrived and a bus even showed up, full of people! 

We returned to the rig. We had a quiet night. No train horns, but at one point I did feel the vibration of a train passing.

Sunday- Up, up and away! We continued our drive south, on Hwy 90. We turned west onto Hwy. 170, in Terlingua, and drove the 17 miles to the resort. We arrived at Maverick Ranch RV Park, in the small town of Lajitas. This is a nice park with 100 FHU sites. We were placed in site 28 which was relatively flat.

At 2 we went over to the pool building where all of the activities will take place. We received our bag with the information inside. We also received our name tags. Lisa Koca, who is the Escapees HOP (Head Out Program) leader. She is actually the paid leader of the HOP program with Escapees. At 4, we had the first get together. At 4:30 we left for dinner at the Starlight Theater, which is located in the Terlingua Ghost Town. There are 56 people in the group. The HOP had sold out and we had gone onto the waiting list. We were only on the list a few days when we were notified that we could join the trip. 

This is the stage at the Starlight Theater

We arrived and parked. There was a large gift shop. We were supposed to enter at 5 pm. The menu had arrived this morning in our email, and it as too late for us to respond. Some folks never got the menu email, as there is limited internet here in the desert. There was a mix up on the meal, and we had to wait to get into dinner. There were people waiting to enter to eat also, as the restaurant opens at 5, and we were taking up 56 seats. The restaurant is not all that big, maybe 75 seats.

Dinner was okay, nothing special. I had pork medallions(spicy) and Bob had chicken with spinach. We ate and returned to the RV park. The park is a dark sky park, meaning no lights after 9 pm.   

Monday- This morning we had “Eggs in a Bag”. We have had this before at a rally. You label a baggie with your name, you drop eggs (2) out of their shells into the baggie, add items, such as chopped tomatoes, onions, cheese, bacon bits etc. and close the bag tightly. Then you mash them all together. You placed them in boiling water, and 15 minutes later, you roll an omlet out of the baggie onto a plate and eat your excellent breakfast!

Breakfast in a bag at the HOP leaders RV

We left driving the 17 miles back to Hwy. 90, then turning south driving 4 miles to the Big Bend NP entrance on Hwy 90. We have the NP senior pass, so we enter for free.

We drove 23 miles to the turn off to Chisos Basin. It was a little bit over 6 miles long, through the mountains. We went up to an elevation of 5401 ft. It was a little bit cooler there! The view was interesting. We went into the NPS office, and I stamped papers for our NPS book. We also purchased a new National Geographic National Park book. Ours is so old, that there are new parks that were not in our book!

We wandered through the store, ate our bars, and did the ½ mile walk on the Window View Trail, to see the ‘window view’.

There is a campground (no services) there, but the road is not made for RV’s over 24ft.

We drove back out to the main highway.  We turned right and continued on to the Panther Junction Visitor Center. We wanted to see the NPS video. NPS is not showing the video, so we purchased one of the copies for $10. Grrr! You would think that with only a few people in the park, they could show the video; the staff think so, but they have no control. It is coming from the top of NPS.

We turned right out of the Visitor Center and drove the 20 miles towards the Rio Grande Village. We passed the entrance to the Hot Springs, which was closed, as they were still under flood waters. Big Bend is in their monsoon season, which runs from May to October. The area had flooded over the last few weeks. We were lucky that so much of the park is back open. We were also lucky to see the park ‘green’. All the rain had brought out the leaves and flowers.

We drove through the tunnel and stopped on the way at the Rio Grande overlook. We walked out to the overlook to find that it is does not look over the Rio Grande River. It was just a short walk to nowhere!

We continued on to Daniels Ranch, which was not open for the summer. There were picnic tables, so we ate our lunch. There was a lot of “scats” near the table, which we thought might have been from some bears, but then we decided it might be from horses. We continued on to the Rio Grande Visitor Center, which was also not open for the summer.

We drove out to the picnic area. There were horses grazing on the side of the road. One horse just walked across the road in front of us. I could not get my camera fast enough to take a picture. The horses were branded. We thought they might we wild, but they come across the river when it is low, and with the flooding, they could not cross back to Mexico. They just stay and graze until the river goes down.

The Rio Grande Village store and bathrooms are open all year There is also a FHU RV park located near the river in this location. We drove through to take a look. There are 25 FHU sites. It is privately run and is the only FHU campground in the park.

We drove back a few miles to the turn off for the Boquillas Canyon Overlook. We wanted to go down to the Boquillas dock, but the road is closed due to flooding. One of the activities we want to do, is to go across into Mexico, into the town of Boquillas for lunch. We are hoping that the river goes down enough that they can open the trip across before we leave.

At the overlook, there were items left on the ground to purchase by migrants or folks from Boquillas. The park does not want anyone to purchase the items, as it only encourages this activity.

We returned to the RV and happy dogs. At 5, we had a happy hour and a talk by the Steve, an Escapees member, who is a Texas Master Naturalist. He talked about the various plants. It was also “Margarita Monday”, and Steve had made Margaritas for everyone. At 7 they had Bingo, which we did not attend.

Sat. Sept. 10 to Fri. Sept. 16- Sun City AZ to Texas

Saturday- We worked on our meal menu for the time that we will be gone. We are going to Big Bend National Park, in the southwest part of Texas. There are no grocery stores or other facilities in this very rural area. We are having to take everything with us. We will not have internet access either, we think, during the time that we are there. In fact, Bob discovered that the closest Walgreens is 150 miles away!

We went to Costco for items, then off to Aldi’s. We stopped at Walgreens for Bob to pick up his prescription. They did not have the entire prescription, so he refused to take it. They would not be getting the medication in for 12 days. We explained that he needed the medication before then. The gal is supposedly working on getting the medication into the pharmacy.

Bob said that this is happening too many times and that maybe he should switch to CVS.  CVS- EEK, we have our booster shots scheduled at CVS for 11 am and it was already after 11! We raced to the CVS. We arrived at 11:07. The pharmacist said he would be with us in a minute. Okay. He asked for Bob’s name. Bob gave it and the pharmacist said we did not have appointments. HUH?? After going back and forth a bit, we asked him to go ahead and give us the vaccinations. He said that he could not, as he would not have enough for people who had appointments. HUH! We had appointments scheduled!! We walked out and when we arrived home, Bob made us appointments at a Walgreens for tomorrow.

We had a quiet afternoon and evening.

Sunday- We did our usual tasks of going to Walmart to finish our grocery shopping. We stopped on the way at Bashas to pick up bread as Dave’s was on sale. They also had pork loin on sale, so we purchased one. We returned home and split it, as it was 4 lbs. We seasoned it and put it in the freezer to take with us to Texas as two of our meals. We also split up a lot of the other groceries and started boxing them, getting ready to put them into the rig. Living in the rig made traveling much easier, as everything was already with us. We have to carefully do our travel list, as it is too hot to leave a lot of items in the rig all the time.

We ate lunch and went for our Covid vaccination appointments at Walgreens. They did not even hurt, but I will bet our arms will be sore tomorrow. We had a quiet afternoon.

At 6, we met up with Linda, Mike, Karen, and John at The Streets of New York. This is an Italian/pizza restaurant. Karen and Linda had salads, John had pizza, Bob had baked ziti and I had angel hair with marinara and meatballs. Bob and I took half home for another meal. We had a great time catching up with our friends. The restaurant closes at 8, but we were the last to leave at 7:30.

Monday- Wow, both our arms are really sore. I did not go to the walking pool, which was a good thing, as it started to rain. Bob and the dogs got caught up in a surprise shower.

I had one of Carolyn’s classes this morning. Poor Carolyn had a problem with the expensive paper. It was cracking when folded. We stopped doing the first item and Carolyn will make them and give them to us later.

In the afternoon, Bob was monitoring the wood shop. I took a nap and woke up without my headache. My arm was still sore.

Tuesday- Both of our arms were back to normal. I went to the walking pool.

I worked on completing cards. Bob ran over to the rig, turned on the refrigerator and added water to the batteries.

After eating an early lunch, I went to the Bell Craft Club to monitor from 12-3. We packed up at 2:30 and closed up. Only 1 card sold during the 2.5 hours.

We had a quiet evening.

Wednesday- I went to the walking pool. The temp was 76 degrees this morning. It’s sunny, but still humid. The high today is only gong to be 94 degrees. Much nicer!

After breakfast, we started packing up items to take to the rig. We had to run to Costco, Sam’s Club, and Walmart We returned home, ate lunch, and I went to my embroidery workshop. I picked up some items I had purchased through a group order, and I dropped off a die cut to one of the gals who purchased with me.

I stopped at Dollar Tree to pick up two cheap serving spoons to use at potlucks. I don’t like to use my good stuff, as it tends to disappear at the parties.

When I returned home, we did more packing. We ate dinner and read our books.

Thursday- I went to the walking pool. We ate breakfast and I dropped Bob off at the rig. I returned home and closed up the containers, checking our list. Bob took the rig to Orangewood RV on the way back to the condo, to purchase propane. He stopped at the Circle K for diesel, as it was the least expensive place, as $4.99/gal. They had raised the price overnight.

We finished packing the rig. Bob cleaned the windshield. Somehow, we found that one of the sets of RV keys was missing. Bob had taken both keys with him this morning. He went back and checked to make sure they were not on the ground. They were not and no one had turned them in to security. We have no idea where they had disappeared too…

We were late leaving, as we left after lunch, without one set of keys. We will have to deal with that when we return home.

We drove to Tucson and stopped at a Walmart parking lot. I stayed with the rig and Bob disconnected the car and went to El Charro to pick up our dinners.

He returned and we hooked up the car, and continued on to Benson AZ, to Valley Verde RV Park, where we stay for free through TT.

While Bob was gone, the parked called at 3:45, to find out if we would be there before 4:15. Nope, we were still in Tucson. They were leaving the admission packet for us at the door to the office. We already knew which site we were assigned.

We pulled into a pull-thru site and hooked up. We have full hook ups with 30 amp which is perfect. We ate dinner, watched some TV, and read our books.

Friday- It was 56 degrees when we woke up! That felt really cold when we are used to 100’s!  I had the code to get into the pool, but it was too cold to go walk in their pool!

We ran to Walmart to pick up items that we forgot, since they were not on our list! They are now… We left around 9:30 to travel east on I-10. Our destination is El Rancho Seguro, a BoonDockers Welcome. We had stayed with Andy last spring on our way east. The parking sites are flat, on gravel, and we had 15 amp electric for $5. There was a small class B motorhome in the site we stayed in last time. We parked up next to the garage. We had a beautiful view of the mountains.

New Mexico mountains

We talked with Jackie, the gal with the Class B who was traveling alone, and of course Andy. Andy is selling his home and moving to Deming, where he will have room for 10 rigs! He is moving to a smaller home on 2 acres.

It was quiet and dark. What more can you ask for in a site with water/electric for $5 a night!

Sat Sep 3 to Fri. Sep 9- Sun City AZ

Saturday- It was a busy day for us. I went to the walking pool in the morning. Then I had my nails done. When I returned, we went to Trader Joes, then the Cookie Jar (I had a free cookie for my birthday), I got a snickerdoodle, which was very good. Bob bought a lemon cookie which he said was very good.

From there we went to Aldi’s then to Panera for lunch. Bob had the mac n ‘cheese sandwich, which he said was excellent. I had the chicken walnut sandwich.

We returned home and put away the groceries, which had been in the cooler in the car.

We had a quiet afternoon and evening. I finished my book and Bob had run to the library to pick up one he had on hold.

Sunday- We went to Walmart grocery shopping. We returned home and did our usual Sunday tasks. I continued doing laundry and got caught up with the blog. After lunch, we made our reservations for the trip to and from Big Bend. We are with a rally so our reservations for the week have been in since last spring.

I worked some more on cards. Bob fixed the push button for the new garage door opener. He had to purchase a cover for the wall and drill a hole in it to pass the wire thru. The new button I much smaller than the old one.

We had Curley’s Ribs from Costco for dinner. Yummy! We will buy them again!

We are still watching shows on Disney +.

Monday- Happy Labor Day! I was off to the walking pool this morning.  I had Carolyn’s class this morning. Here is what we made.

Just before I left the craft room, I rec’d a call from the Bell Craft Club. I had put a $ before the price of the cards on the tag on the back of all my cards. Evidently that is not allowed, so all of my cards had been rejected. Okay…so the gal told me to white out the “$” sign. Picky picky! At least I do not have to replace all of them. Carolyn had to replace all of hers because she used the wrong codes for the cards.  Neither of us are happy.

I returned home and read my book. We finished off the ribs for dinner.

Tuesday- I was off to the walking pool again this morning. We decided not to go to the Posse General Meeting today. I worked on cards. Bob went to the rig and worked on some items in the RV. Then he went to the wood shop. I had asked him to make me a holder for my neck fan Here it is…

At a little after 9, I went to the Bell Craft Center taking my white out with me. I needed more bags to put the sale cards into, so I purchased 100, as the price will be going up with the next order. Currently they are $4.50 for 50.

I tried to cover the “$” signs on my tags, but my white out container broke. So, I tried to use some of the white out from the club. The sponge on that bottle was broken. I will need to go buy some white out at Dollar Tree.

At 11, I went to the Posse and did dispatch from 11 to 4. One strange thing that occurred was that we had an injured person who called for help. The Peoria Fire Department went to the site. The ambulance could not arrive for an hour, so they asked the Posse member to transport the injured guy. She asked us. Cindy, the phone gal, and the Lt. over communications called the DO, as it was his decision. He said yes, as long as the Posse gal was okay with the transport. Since Covid we have not been transporting anyone. The reason they wanted the person to the ER rapidly was they felt he was bleeding, internally. Cindy notified the Commander, who was in the building, and he wanted more details. We had followed protocol, so none of us were in any trouble. He asked that the gal see him when she returned to base to clean the car afterwards. Neither Bob nor I were comfortable with this; we discussed it when I got home.

Other than that, it was a fairly quiet afternoon. There was one call for an altered level of consciousness. The person refused to go to the hospital. Then about 45 minutes later, there was another call for that same person. That time the individual went to the hospital. If you call 911, never refuse to go to the hospital! If you needed 911 called, you need to be seen in the ER!!!!!

Bob had the Astronomy Club meeting this evening. I found on Facebook, that an old friend of mine, Debbie McGuire Hayer, from elementary school, through middle school, and high school had passed. I had not seen her in years, but we were friends on FB. I grew up with her husband Ralph, as well. His birthday was 2 days after mine, so he did not make it into my elementary school class, as my birthday was the last day of entrance to school that year. Our families were friends for years.

Wednesday- I did my hour in the walking pool again. I worked on the blog. I had my hair cut at 10 AM. I stopped in at Dollar Tree on the way back and picked up some white out to use to fix the cards for the Bell Craft Center.

Bob went to the wood shop to work on some of his projects. We found that my press release for the Calligraphy club was in the local newspaper.

I stayed home in the afternoon as I was tired. We had our Zoom with our east coast friends again this afternoon. We mourned our friend Debbie and we discussed our beach trip in 2023. We will be staying at the same house with the same group.

The rest of the evening was quiet at home.

Thursday- I was off again for my hour in the walking pool. We saw on TV, that Queen Elizabeth was not doing well. We thought, okay, she is dieing today. She did….

I went to the Calligraphy room at 9. Only John, Carolyn and I were there. Trudy stopped by on the way from another meeting, just to say hi. I worked on completing some cards.

At 11, I had the Bell Craft Club meeting.  That was a quick meeting, then I returned home for lunch and in the afternoon, I went to the Next Gen Mahjong. I won one game! I have hardly played with this year’s card.

Bob went to the wood shop again and he had run some errands today.

Friday- My birthday! We had the Posse in the morning. We completed our 40 vacation watches without any issues. We returned home ate lunch and read our books. At 2:30, we left and went to Baskin Robbins for my free birthday scoop of ice cream. Nancy, the franchise owner, had told me that she had ordered my favorite ice cream, German Chocolate Cake. Baskins has the best GCC of any ice cream shop! When we arrived, and she said she was sorry, but they had shorted her order, and the GCC had been what they shorted! Darn!! I had a birthday scoop of Pralines and Cream. BR always sends Bob a “take Denise to BR” email, so he used that for a free scoop of chocolate.

We went to dinner at the Cheesecake Factory. This is only the second time that we have been to CF, ever! I had the shrimp tacos and Bob had the chicken marsala. Both were very good. Their bread is also very good, especially the brown bread.

Of course, we had to take home some cheesecake. We both ordered the Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake, to go. I savored half this evening and saved the rest for tomorrow!!

Sat. Aug. 27 to Fri. Sept. 2- Sun City AZ

Saturday- We went to Petsmart for Roxie’s prescription food. We have decided on where we are staying on our trip this month, but we have not made reservations yet, due to the weather. Since we are going to Big Bend NP, in southwestern Texas, for a week, we are watching the weather between Sun City and Texas. Plus, we are watching for hurricanes.

I worked on cards and Bob continued to work on the garage door opener.

Sunday- We went later to grocery shop, as Aldi opens at 9 am. We picked up a number of items, then stopped at Walmart. It was now close to 9:30! This was a big mistake. Walmart was mobbed with long lines. We will not do that again! We will go to Aldi’s on Saturday and Walmart very early on Sunday morning!

We did our usual other Sunday tasks, including checking our accounts, laundry, and cleaning.

We read our books and watched more Disney+ shows.

Monday- I had early morning Posse dispatch. Because I was going in, Bob had signed up for 40 vacation watches. I am getting a reputation for having crazy dispatch shifts!

The DO, Keith, kind of does his own thing. The DO is in charge of the shift, so he can do things his way. There were a lot of crazy calls. One was for a medical alarm going off in a home. The call came in from the 911 office. We sent Keith to the call, as everyone else was doing vacation watches.

The house was empty, and it was for sale. We ended up calling the agent, whose cell phone was disconnected. We called the national company, who called the agent, and she called in to the Posse.

Meanwhile, Bob was doing his vacation watches. He was flagged down by a resident on the street who was worried about her neighbor. Bob stopped, called it in, and went to check on the lady. Bob could not get the lady to answer her phone or to get her to answer the door.

We wanted to send Keith, as the house he was at, was empty. The fire truck and the medic unit did not arrive. Keith made decision to stay until the agent arrived. We are now at an hour, of Bob waiting for Keith to arrive, as we cannot go into the house and Bob could not leave.

Meanwhile, we were pulling the other Posse folks, off of vacation watches to go to the medical calls, as Keith was not available. Finally, the agent arrived, the house was empty, and no one knows why the alarm was going off.

Keith finally left and went to Bob. This was now after 11 AM. Both of us were supposed to be off at 11, but I was continuing because the calls were flying into the Posse office. The 11 am phone gal arrived and realized that this was the same lady from last week, who refuses to open the door or answer her phone.

The lady had now moved to a chair; Bob and Keith could now see her, but she still would not answer the door or the phone. They banged on the door until she finally answered the door. Bob was finally released to return to base. He did not get his 40 vacation watches completed, as he had spent so much time on this waste of time.

I have finished my orientation to dispatch, but since they do not have a shift for me, I am still sitting in so that I can learn and remember what I am to do…

Fay, who is in charge of dispatch, was really upset about Keith wasting so much time, so she reported him. Fine with me, as it was crazy for Bob to have to wait for so long, when the 911 folks decided that it was a waste of time!

I left the Posse at 11:30 and Bob ended up leaving at 11:50. I returned home, walked the dogs around the courtyard, and ate lunch. Bob returned, ate lunch, and did the dogs longer walk.

In the evening, we took Smitty and Mary Ann to Mercers restaurant as a thank-you for watching the condo while we were gone. Smitty had never been to Mercers, and he was very impressed and is planning to return!

Tuesday- I went to the walking pool in the morning. I was scheduled to monitor at the Bell Craft Club from 9-11. I arrived and no one was there to open the door. That was annoying, as it is hot and humid. While waiting I took a picture from up above the walking pool. There is more pool to the left side.

The class instructor arrived 10 minutes late and apologized. I had a quiet morning doing the monitoring and embroidering some cards.

Bell Center Walking Pool

I arrived home at noon, after I had been relieved by the afternoon person. We had a quiet afternoon. Bob had gone this morning to Lowes to purchase a new garage door opener. He will be working on replacing the opener this week, early in the morning, when it is a little bit cooler.

Wednesday- I went to the walking pool this morning. I had stupidly signed up to monitor at Bell again. I had not realized it was 2 days in a row. Ugh! When I arrived today, no problem. Linda was the instructor who could open the door, and she was there early.

I had the card embroidery at 12, so I took my lunch with me.

Thursday- I went to the walking pool. Bob started working on installing the garage door opener. I assisted a couple of times, before I left for the opening of the Calligraphy room. We were closed for August, although, there was a hard class in August, as the instructor is moving back to her original home to care for her mother. I had decided not to take this class, as I am still working on the two other calligraphy classes that I have taken. We worked on cleaning and organizing the room.

Bob was able to install the new garage door opener, and when I arrived back, he opened the door for me, and then programed the Highlander. It works!

We had a quiet afternoon,

Friday- We had our regular Posse shift. We had 40 vacation watches.

At our second house, at 6:35 am, we thought that the person was home. The flag was out, and some items were on the back table. We knocked and rang the doorbell. No answer. We put that card aside, and we continued on our way. We completed the rest of our watches and returned to the earlier house.

There were more items out back of the house, The computer was on the island in the kitchen, and there were shoes on the floor behind the coffee table. We could tell this from looking in the windows. I opened the mail slot, and I could see a car in the garage.

We had called the key holder/emergency person and Bob left a message, on our first trip to the home. We checked with the neighbors. One was home, the other has not returned yet.

We called Courtney, who was dealing with the same situation in Division 3. We are Division 2. She was finally going to get to us. We waited. The emergency contact person called us back. She laughed and said that the guy, who lives alone, was probably out on the golf course and was notorious for forgetting his phone. We cancelled Courtney and went on our way. The guy did call later to apologize. We went and washed the patrol car and added gas.

We finished our tour of duty, returned home, ate lunch, and went to Costco for gas and items. Gas was $3.49/gal.

Sat. Aug. 20 to Fri. Aug 26- Sun City AZ

Saturday- It was a quiet day. I worked on cards. Bob is still working on the garage door. It is driving both of us crazy. Sometimes it works and sometimes if doesn’t.

I did laundry as usual. We read our books and watched some TV in the afternoon and evening.

Sunday- We did our usual Sunday chores including grocery shopping, checking our accounts, and laundry. We continued to read our books and to watch Disney +.

Monday- I had a fasting blood draw at 8 am, so I went to the office. I was the first person there, but I ended up getting called in at 8:15. They seem to take their time. This is Sonora Quest Labs in the Doctor’s office.

At 11, I went to dispatch on the afternoon shift. I had to drive the Kia, as Bob was taking the Highlander in for service. He was going to have them check the garage door opener, as the portable one opens the door. He has still been working with the garage door company.

It was a crazy dispatch shift. We had a little lady who will not open her door or answer her phone and her son calls, from California, to have us check on her. She was okay, just some dementia. There were a number of other different types of calls.

Bob took the Highlander in to the Toyota dealership at 2:30. He found that the garage door opener was working, so he cancelled the garage door part of the appointment. He just had the oil changed. We still have free oil changes from the dealership for one more time, after this time. Then it will be off to Jiffy Lube!

Tuesday- I was off to the walking pool. I worked on cards all day. Bob continued to work on the RV can holder and the garage door opener, as it stopped working again.

Wednesday- I was off to the walking pool. Bob is now using the exercise bike in the condo.

I worked on cards in the morning. I had the embroidery workshop in the afternoon. We had the Zoom with our east coast friends at 5.  Bob is still going crazy with the garage door opener.

Thursday- We had our last Posse Thursday morning, yippee! Another 40 vacation watches. It was a quiet shift other than the vacation watches.

In the afternoon I had a call scheduled by the Nurse Practitioner from the doctor’s office to go over my blood work. It was all normal and no changes to my medications.

Friday- Our usual Posse shift. We had another 40 vacation watches. It was another quiet shift. We were tired again, so another afternoon nap.

Sat. Aug. 13 to Fri. Aug. 19- Sun City AZ

Saturday- We had a quiet day at home. Bob has been working on the can storage for the RV. I continued working on calligraphy.  I also did laundry. Bob went to pick up prescriptions at Walgreens and then he was off to Lowes for a few items to finish the can holder.

We started to watch Cedar Cove on Hallmark Now. We also finished watching series Reacher on Amazon Prime and also watched the Reacher movie on Prime.

Sunday- We did our usual grocery shopping this morning. The cost of the distilled water at Walmart, was down to $1.08 a bottle. It was still the Arrowhead, so we purchased 7 bottles. We tried to purchase a steering wheel lock at Walmart but could not find one. We have been trying to purchase Bob’s Bran Flakes for weeks now. The cereal aisle at Walmart has a lot of open space to fill! We cannot find bran flakes anywhere else either! We are spending over $100 a week on groceries. Our goal is to spend $100 or less each week. With the inflation, we are really noticing the increase of food!

Bob took the Highlander to Costco for gas and stopped at Auto Zone to purchase the steering wheel lock for the Kia. We have been having a lot of car thefts in the area, and we have seen on TV that there is some sort of challenge to steal cars, and they are stealing Hyundai’s and Kia’s. Of course, we have a standard transmission, but we could have a lot of damage to the car before the idiots figure out, they cannot drive the car!

Monday- I was off to the walking pool in the morning. I worked on cards in the morning. Bob went to the motor home to do some double checking his measurements for the can holder.

I had a doctor’s appointment in the afternoon. We had decided to add Disney+, so we watched some shows that we had not seen.

Tuesday- I was off to the walking pool in the morning. The doctor yesterday had changed one of my medications, so this was the first day of the change.

We had the Posse Operations Meeting. When they closed the meeting, they opened a new meeting to vote on by-law changes. We voted, they counted, and the by-laws passed.

We returned home. I worked on some cards. After lunch I tried to read my book, but I fell asleep. I had a different doctor’s appointment at 2:15. The aide saw me first. Then a training Doctor from Poland saw me. She put in a lot of the information. Then my primary doctor came in to see me. I have started having the neuropathy pain starting, like it did before, in my arches. He is re-ordering the Neurogenix treatments. We hope that the insurance approved the treatments again. Sigh, a waiting game!

I returned home and I could really feel the medication. I basically sat watching TV as I was kind of loopy.

Wednesday- I did not go to the walking pool this morning. We stayed in bed until almost 6:30, late for us. I still felt a little bit off from the new medication. By 10, I was feeling better. I had to cook some brownies for the embroidery workshop, as it was Linda’s birthday, and we were celebrating. We had a nice potluck at the workshop.

We had our Zoom at 5 with our east coast friends. It was a quiet evening.

Thursday- We had the Posse in the morning. 40 vacation watches. Nothing exciting. I worked on cards in the afternoon. Our garage door is not working correctly. Bob has been talking to the company about it and rebooting it and the car.

Friday- We had Posse in the morning. Again 40 vacation watches. We were tried after our morning, so we took a nice afternoon nap. We have been watching Orville on Disney +.

Sat. Aug. 6 to Fri. Aug. 12- Sun City AZ

Saturday- We had a quiet day staying home in quarantine. Bob worked on some of his tasks, and I worked on Calligraphy and card embroidery. We watched some Hallmark movies and Chesapeake Shores on Hallmark Now.

Sunday- Another quiet day for us. Pretty much a repeat of yesterday. No Covid symptoms. Really boring!

Monday- Still mostly a quiet day. Bob checked his blood sugar in the morning, and it was normal. Since it has not skyrocketed, we were pretty sure we were not positive for Covid.

We did some tasks around the condo. We took down the curtains in the master bath and washed them. Then we re-hung them. Woo woo, exciting right?? LOL.

I worked on Calligraphy for my embroidered cards.

Bob was sent a free sundae coupon from Freddy’s to celebrate National Frozen Custard Day. We tested, and our first test was negative. We went to Freddy’s for hot fudge sundaes, as we are getting stir crazy. 

Tuesday- It rained hard overnight, but we had no damage. It was another boring day for us, staying home. We did our second Covid test, which was negative. We had a Zoom at 5 with our east coast friends.

Wednesday- I worked on calligraphy. I have gotten a lot of calligraphy done this past week. Today, of course, the CDC said we no longer have to quarantine! One week too late for us! Oh well!

I had my nail appointment this morning. I returned and we ran to Costco. We returned, I ate lunch and went to my Card Embroidery workshop.

When I arrived, I was told that the gal who had tested positive last Friday was sick, but at home. Evidently, she felt and sounded pretty bad. The gal who sat across from me for the entire 2.5 hours, went into the hospital on Monday with Covid. We think from the exposure last Wednesday. I have no idea if she was vaccinated. It is a question no one asks….

Thursday– Posse morning. We had 40 vacation watches. Nothing exciting happened this week. We returned home, ate lunch and did some tasks. We watched the end of season 5 of Chesapeake Bay on Hallmark. The last season starts on Sunday.

Friday- Our regular Posse morning. Again, we had 40 vacation watches. We had the house with the boat on our list for this week and we were glad to see that the boat issue was fixed. It was a relatively quiet morning.

We returned home, ate lunch and I baked brownies for the Next Gen Beer tasting this evening. We arrived at a nice potluck, with a nice assortment of foods. Bob was not impressed with a lot of the beers. There was nothing that he would have purchased. He had taken 3 Deschutes non-alcoholic beers to the tasting. He brought home one; the other two were used.  

Sat Jul 29 to Fri Aug 5- Sun City AZ

Saturday- I went to the pool at 5:45 this morning. There were not a lot of people there. We basically had a quiet day. We had to run to Costco to get gas for the Highlander. That was about all our excitement.

Sunday- We did our usual Sunday grocery shopping. We did not purchase any distilled water at Walmart, as it had skyrocketed to $1.78 gallon, from $1.29. All because they only had Arrowhead distilled water. Our grocery bill has gone up about $50 a week, so we are trying to be very conscious of what we are purchasing.

We stopped at Bash’s on the way home and picked up tomatoes, oranges, and the distilled water, at $1.29 a gallon.

We completed our Sunday morning tasks and had a relaxing afternoon.

Monday- I went to the walking pool again this morning. The pool was pretty crowded, much more than any other day since I have been going!

I worked on Calligraphy for my cards. Bob completed some of the 1st of the month tasks that he does, like changing the air filter, etc.

I baked some brownies in the afternoon. We went to a Next Gen Potluck at the Sundial Center at 6. There were about 48 people attending. The Activities Chairperson brought up some ideas for future activities and some people volunteered to be the point person for a few of the ideas.

Of course, there was a lot of food there, but we did not bring home any brownies! We played a fun game, Blank Slate, against the people at our table. We had a lively table, so it was a lot of fun. One of the gals at our table was the first to reach 25 points, so she won for the whole room.  We played two rounds to 25 points.

Tuesday- We had the Posse General Meeting in the morning. MCSO (police) and the Posse had gone together to do the nighttime patrols last weekend. That resulted in 7 homeless people arrested for outstanding warrants. The local stores have had to hire security guards due to the influx of homeless people.

The area northwest of us, El Mirage, had rousted the homeless out of their area. The area to the southeast of us, Peoria, had done the same thing. This had sent more homeless into Sun City, which had become quite an issue.
Fortunately, the homeless are on the southside of Sun City, far from where we live. Sun City is not an incorporated town, so we do not have our own police department. Our police are Maricopa County. The police and the fire department both have offices in Sun City.

A follow up on last weeks yellow and new clothes pins, there are still clothespins being left on houses. There have also been a number of stolen cars. It is so hot, everything happens at night, not when we are patrolling.

Bob wanted one of the Posse T-shirts like I have, so that he has a second top with short sleeves. We accumulate points for our volunteering, so Bob had $75 in his account. He purchased the shirt for $40 points. He was happy with that, not having to buy a secondhand shirt, he could buy a new one for free!

At 11:30 Bob went to monitor at the Bell Woodshop. They had a shortage of monitors. He did not realize that because things are so quiet, that he could have taken something with him to work on.

I stayed home, took a nap and embroidered cards.

Wednesday- It was bug spray day, so we had to leave the gate and the garage door open for the bug guy to spray. We have not seen any bugs, so we are very happy about that!

At 10, I had my hair appointment. I noticed a new white Kia Soul in the parking lot. I asked Kathy if it was hers. She could not stop grinning. After her car accident about 2 months ago, she had tried to purchase a new Kia Soul. She had a terrible sales guy. She did not realize that she could change salesmen/women, so she went and purchased a small Honda. She hated the Honda. She asked her 6’4” 300 lb. male neighbor to go with her to the Kia dealer, because we all know that salespeople try to pull fast ones on women. She traded in the Honda for a Soul, only losing $1300 on the deal. She was really happy. She showed me the new Soul. It is a really nice car, with all the bells and whistles that our Highlander has, in a small less expensive car!  

I went to my card embroidery workshop in the afternoon. Then home to relax for the evening.

Thursday- We had been asked to do a second patrol shift for the month of August, as the Posse is really short of volunteers this month. We had agreed to patrol on Thursdays in addition to Fridays.

We woke up at 4:30, to a monsoon. Thunder, lightning, and hard rain with flooding. At one point, just before we left, the rain was slower in the back yard, so Bob was able to take the dogs out in the back. In the front, it was still pouring. I know, weird huh! At this point in time, before we left, it was not raining yet in south Sun City, so Karen, who lives down there did not know to not drive her golf cart to the Posse, and she had to turn around, return home, change shoes and drive her car.  

We arrived to find a guy, who we did not know, sitting in our seats, working on organizing our VW’s. He moved over to help Karen, until Tina realized he was supposed to be on the evening shift, not the morning shift. He left and returned home, to relax before he returned this evening.

We were happy to have Tina has the DO as she is very good. We waited until the rain slowed down to just a drizzle, before we started out on patrol. Poor Bob was wearing one of the very hot yellow raincoats to keep dry.

We completed 40 vacation watches. We moved rapidly as there were minimal issues. Two families had returned home, so we were able to take them off the list.

After we completed our VW’s, we just drive around looking for issues or assisting on medical calls. I spotted a pontoon boat which had its seat up the air. Bob made a quick U-turn, and we stopped. Bob looked into it. We called the owner, who of course had to call us back, as I have a Maryland phone number, so people do not answer. We were not doing a vacation watch on this home today, so that we had to get the information from Base, to make the call. The gal was very appreciative that we let her know, and she was calling a friend to fix the problem. We cannot touch her belongings.

We also found an open garage door. We called that in, and the homeowner has never registered with the Posse. Stupid! If the owner had registered, we would have his/her phone number to call and ask if she/he meant to leave the garage door open. No one answered when we rang the front or back doorbells, and the car was not in the garage. Neither neighbor was home, either. Tina arrived and decided that we would just leave it like that, as the door looked old, and the person may have left it open on purpose. Besides, there was no way to close the door and get out of the garage in time. This home is in the southern area, where the homeless have been very busy! That was the end of today’s Posse story! We returned home, ate lunch, and took a nap!

We started watching Grace and Frankie on Netflix, after finishing Purple Heart.

Friday- Our regular Posse duty. We had 39 vacation watches today! It is cool, temps in the 80’s and 90’s, with a bright sunny sky, although still very humid!

At one house, Bob walked up to the door, checked that the security door was locked, and it opened. Behind it, the front door was open. We called in to the Posse and Courtney the DO. We are not allowed to enter a home with out the permission of the owner.

The next-door neighbor was the key holder, so we went next door.  The woman was not home, but her daughter was there. She called her mother, who was at Walmart, and found out where the key was located. We went with her over to the house, keeping the key holder on the phone the entire time. The gal went into the house, and it did not look like the house had been vandalized. We stood at the front door; in case we were needed to assist her. Bob went around to the back of the house, and everything was okay there. We decided that the door might not have been locked, as the owners had just left recently, and the monsoon wind yesterday may have blown the door open. The daughter of the keyholder locked the door and the key holder was going to check the house again when she returned.

The monsoon wind had also knocked down a tree in a front yard, at another home, so we called that owner who returned the call and said he was going to call his yardwork person to take care of the tree.

I rec’d a phone call from our neighbor across the courtyard. We had a screen off the courtyard side of the condo. I thanked her for letting us know and let her know we were on Posse patrol and would fix it when we arrived home.

We also found a bunch of packages at one home, so we called that keyholder to let her know to go over to the home to pick up the packages. It was a busy morning for us!!!

We returned home and Bob straightened out the screen and put it back up. I had to hold the screen while he was securing it.

We took a nap. When I woke up, I checked my email. I found an email from Linda, letting us all know, that Mary, who had worn a mask all afternoon on Wednesday at card embroidery, had just tested positive for Covid. Ugh! Mary had just arrived back in Sun City, from visiting her grandkids.

We raced to the grocery store and went into hibernation/quarantine.  We wore our masks while in the Walmart.

I cancelled both of us for Monday at the Posse. I was supposed to do dispatch on Monday morning for practice, with Fay and Cyndi. Fay’s husband Danny has been on chemo, so I especially did not want to take any chances with infecting Fay. Bob was scheduled to do 30 VW’s. We are hoping to test negative. We will start testing tomorrow evening. Luckily, we have plenty of tests! Of course, it is the weekend. If we test positive, we plan to call our Doctors’ offices, to ask the on call Doc for the Paxlovid, that Biden was taking.  

Sat July 16 to Fri July 22- Sun City AZ

Saturday- It was basically a quiet day. I am still taking it easy, not going to the pool until Tuesday. I did laundry. I am still having issues with moving scanned items into Publisher, so I texted April for help. She called me and sent me screen shots, and now I am able to do the transfers. Nothing exciting today for either of us.

Sunday- We did our usual shopping. We still had to stop at Bash’s for distilled water, as Walmart did not have any. We did our usual Sunday morning tasks.

At 1, we went online for a Zoom with Mission for Arizona. We watched the training videos and started to make calls to get voters out to vote in the primary which is August 2. We have already voted, via mail, and both of our voter paperwork was accepted.

At 3, we went to Bruster’s for ice cream, as it is National Ice Cream Day. We received double points today, and I had a $5 off from my last points. Plus we had the $1 off each. Our total was $3.50 for the both of us to purchase small cups of ice cream, which contains two scoops each! A pretty good deal!

We returned home and watched Gaslight, starring Julia Roberts and Sean Penn on Starz. Wow, whoever did Penn’s makeup did an awesome job. I would not have known who the actor was if I had not seen the credits! The show itself is very interesting. I was in school in 1971 to May of 1974, so I did not know much about Watergate until I graduated and moved back home. I never had time to watch TV in Nursing School.

Monday- I was off to the Posse to train in dispatch. I did pretty well. I am ahead of most trainees, as I am familiar with the codes and am not afraid to talk on the radio. I got over that a long time ago.

There is a lot to learn about the equipment and opening on Mondays when there are a lot of phone messages from the weekend. There was a lot of storm damage after the storms this past weekend. There were not a lot of medical calls. I had sympathy for the folks out doing the vacation watches.

I returned home and took a nap. Bob had done some running around, including buying some beers.

We continued watching Gaslight on Starz.

Tuesday- I was off to the pool for an hour of walking. Bob went to his doctor appointment at 8 AM. We left to go to the Posse Operations Meeting at 9. I was back at the Posse at 11 for my next dispatch training program in the early afternoon. I did well and will be tested on Monday.

We had a quiet evening at home.

Wednesday- I went to the pool and worked on Calligraphy words for my cards.

In the afternoon I went to card embroidery but just for an hour.  I drove Bob to Goodyear, which is off of I-10 west. He had an appointment with the retina specialist. Of course, other than the one big floater, he has no other symptoms currently. The Doc found nothing wrong, so he sent us on our way.

We stopped at Westgate shopping center to get the delicious ice cream at the Creamery. They went out of business. We think that they just could not get help. We were really bummed that it was gone, as the ice cream was awesome! On a positive note, we found out they are opening a Bruster’s in that location. Good thing we are not in that area very often.  

Bob of course had dilated eyes which lasted all evening.

Thursday- I went to a new nail salon. The last nail gal who did my nails did not do a good job. Cindy at the Posse recommended James at a salon across from the Bash’s, so I had made an appointment there. He did more layers of the dip nails, and he speaks English. That is always a plus, as many of the salons have so many workers with very poor English.

At 3, I went to the Chiropractor. So far so good and I am not in any pain. In the evening we watched the Jan.6 committee primetime show.

Friday- Posse morning. We did 40 vacation watches and no medical calls, although we were done early with the vacation watches. We were riding around looking for yellow clothes pins on home mail slots. We did not find any, but on Thursday the Posse members had found about 50 of them. Most were at empty houses. Everyone thinks it was someone marking houses to rob them. With so many people gone for the summer, it is highly likely this was the reason. We returned home, ate lunch, and took a nap. We had a quiet evening