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Arizona

Musings on a Sunny Day

It’s a beautiful sunny day in Buckeye, Arizona! And the weather forecast says there are 9 more sunny days to come!! That’s reason to celebrate right there….Life Is Good. It’s been a very different winter so far; much more rain and overcast skies than last year. When they say “rain” though, it usually means about 20 drops at a time but the other day it was a real gully-washer all day off and on, and the washes were running strong. Boy the desert plants are getting green quickly!

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I’ve still been getting plenty of light on the solar panel to serve my meager needs, in fact I’ve got it bungied to the spare tire on the back of the camper and I don’t move it, so it’s only getting sun about 4 hours a day. It’s still enough. It’s gotten a bit cold at night (33 degrees last night) but the Wave 3 heater has been doing a great job of keeping us warm and cozy.

Neighbors have been coming and going, most staying only a night or two. If you are old enough to remember the sitcom “Bewitched”, remember the cranky neighbor lady who was constantly spying through her curtains at Samantha?  That’s who I’ve become, to my shame. Yep, I’m a nosy old witch. I find myself watching everyone that goes by. I’ve resisted getting out the binoculars but…..I want to!  I really prefer being all by myself back here, and then I don’t have to worry about Roxie barking too much, or getting fully dressed to take her for a little walk.  On the other hand, if I happen to have a heart attack or something, it’d be nice to have a neighbor within screeching distance.

I love hearing the coyotes yipping and howling at night! And it reminds me to be vigilant with Roxie so she doesn’t end up being a coyote snack.  My little packrat that lives under the picnic slab has been feathering his/her nest with bits of a throw rug that blew into Roxie’s exercise pen. In hindsight, I should have picked it up right away and not left it there for 3 days. Oh and I don’t have any critters in the car; false alarm. I kept a mousetrap in the car for 3 nights and didn’t catch anything, and then when i cleaned off the floor with a whisk broom, I noticed that what I thought were critter poops were actually some kind of empty husk or hull. I have no idea how they got under the floor mat, but I’m glad! I’ve gotten out my solar string lights and put them on the ground under the car’s engine to discourage pack rats, which love to chew wiring. They don’t stay lit all night but I’m hoping the critters don’t “work” all night either.

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Time To Move On

We have spent a very productive two weeks here in Asheville, crossing a lot of items off my To-Do List! In fact the only things left on it are a trip to Wal-Mart for a few items, and some sewing projects which I hope my friend Jeanne will help with.

My house-sitting job ended on Wednesday. I spent a good part of that day toting stuff back to the camper that I’d taken to the house over the course of the week. Ugh! Why so much STUFF??  I bought too much food for the PJ Party and had to find places to stash that plus I bought some things on Amazon; now the camper is bulging!  But I do have a lot of free space in the car, I just haven’t gotten around to reorganizing that space yet.

Jenni finished up the propane projects today, testing all the new propane connections with soapy water and installing my new pigtail (the hose that goes from the propane tank to the regulator). Naturally the 24″ pigtail I ordered from Amazon had the wrong size connection to fit into my regulator, so Jenni made another trip all over town looking for an adapter. You wouldn’t think that would be so hard!  Well, turns out it was impossible. She ended up finding a 5′ extension hose that would fit both ends, so now I have a 7′ hose instead of the 2′ one I really needed. The excess is wrapped around the propane tanks and zip-tied so it doesn’t drag on the ground. Poor Jenni is always amazed at how complicated a perfectly simple job can become when it involves ME. The Paquette luck (or lack of it) holds true again.

Once it was all done, I said maybe I should test the new heater tonight, since it’s going to be in the 30’s. I believe she turned a bit pale, and said “while it’s under our carport?” Yeah, and right next to your Airstream, too!  Haha! Guess I’ll hold off on the testing until I get to Jeanne’s house tomorrow. Maybe I can manage to blow up their garage.

Here is my new little Olympian Wave 3 heater, isn’t it cute! And the ingenious way we invented to hang it from my cabinet without putting any screws into the door. It hangs quite securely from an over-door hook that has the triple hooks cut off, and the propane line attaches with a quick-connect fitting. I can even still open the cabinet and get stuff out of it while the heater is attached! (Though I won’t do that if the heater is running). I usually only run the heat at night. If I need to take the chill off during the day, I can just turn the stovetop on for a few minutes. (adequately ventilated, of course) With this type of mount, it’ll be easy to store the heater in the car when not needed.

Saturday….I’m now at Jeanne’s in High Point for a few nights. I’m parked in her driveway and have a very classy golf course view.

 

Yesterday we drove about an hour to check out some free campsites in the Uwharrie National Forest. I will go there until our next WACS gathering near Clemson, SC on November 27. I really am ready to be alone againl for awhile….I’ve been around people for weeks now! Nobody is bugging me or anything, but my already-limited social skills are growing thin. Funny, it doesn’t matter how much I might love my friends, I just really need lots and lots of alone-time.

Jeanne and I have really done a great job on our sewing projects! We made two slipcovers for Roxie’s little sling bed. Even though it’s just a simple sling and she can’t possibly do anything to make it “more comfortable”, she digs and digs at it until she gets it just right (in her own head). So she’s made a big hole in the middle.  This exact bed doesn’t not appear to be made any more, so I had to fix it.

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We made two very simple slipcovers from some quilted material I had on hand. They are easily removed for washing and I didn’t even have to go through the work of putting a patch on the hole.        dscn6554

I also made two different covers from oilcloth for the new heater; the catalytic pad is supposed to be covered any time it’s not in use, as dust on the pad is not good. So I needed a front coverage one for when it’s hanging on the cabinet and a full-coverage envelope-style one for when it’s stored in the car. The covers are nothing to brag about but they’ll do the job.  We made a foam pad that slips onto the armest of my car so I really CAN rest my arm on it while driving. I used a 2″ piece of foam to get it to the right height, and covered it with fleece with elastic straps.  And we almost have my jeans hemmed. We tried to do it on the sewing machine but it didn’t want to go through that heavy denim material, so I ended up hemming by hand.  What a productive visit to NC….I actually got everything done that was on my list! The only thing left to do is to reorganize the back seat area of the car, though I don’t know why I bother….as soon as I move one thing, everything else fluffs up and takes up twice the space!

Oh I just passed the milestone of living in the camper on the road for 18 months!

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