Thursday, February 16, 2017

Not Much to Report


We’re still here at McDowell Mountain Park for another few weeks. This is the view from our current site.


A little late for Valentine’s Day.


A few of his friends.



That’s a hummingbird patiently waiting for the Gila woodpecker to get off its feeder.


It’s official, I am now a geezer and have the pass to prove it. Still $10 for the lifetime pass. I asked the gentleman at the Tonto National Forest office when the price increase was to take place, but he said they haven’t yet gotten the word. He also kindly told me I looked like I should be going clubbing instead of buying a senior pass. I suspect I am not the first woman he’s used that line on!

20170124_185124 (2)

Same old, same old here, mostly biking, a little hiking, and volunteering at Fearless Kitty.


Some shots from the trails.



We saw a bobcat run across this rocky hill but he was too fast to get a photo.


This saguaro was happy to see me.


Learned that the holes are not just used by birds.


This one has a very active bee nest inside.


We have a huge ocotillo next to our current site. No flowers yet but hope to see some soon based on how green everything is becoming.



We’ve been chipping away at little projects around the Lazy Daze. Jim inspected and added some caulk to the roof, replaced the burner tube on the hot water heater, and installed a new propane detector. There is always something to be done.

Last Friday turned out not to be a good night for viewing the full moon, eclipse, and comet, but it was still pretty. Until next time…


Addendum: Can’t believe I forgot to mention this but Sophie finally got adopted on Valentine’s Day. Only took six months for the right people to come along, a family with two older boys. At least maybe they will keep her in line!

Monday, January 23, 2017

Not Ready to Give Up a Good Thing Just Yet


We are still at McDowell Mountain Park near Fountain Hills, AZ. Our departure date was to be January 20, when we planned to meet up with the Lazy Daze group in Quartzsite. As the time was drawing nearer we weren’t really feeling ready to move on, and it just so happened some friends here had to leave early due to family issues, and were planning to cancel their reservations. Since they had sites reserved until March 10, we decided to go ahead and grab their sites as they cancelled them, which is what we did.

So now we can spend more time biking, hiking, and volunteering at Fearless Kitty. The first two and a half months here have flown by, so I’m sure our next six weeks will, also.
Jim, Ellen, and Alex, resting up before we continue our bike ride. The old cover over the picnic table collapsed during one of the several rain/wind storms we’ve experienced.


Since my last post we’ve met some more Lazy Daze owners, Rebecca from Washington traveling with her kids Joshua and Matthew (thanks for the movie tickets!), and Steve and Adele from Colorado.

Last week we were happy to see none other than Box Canyon Mark and Bobbie show up on their way to the Tucson area. They arrived on a beautiful sunny and warm day, the only nice day of their stay. We were able to do one fun bike ride with them, and the rest of the time had to resort to cold hikes under cloudy skies. 

Biker Bobbie.


Cowboys Mark and Jim taking a break from the saddle.


I led Mark and Bobbie on an 8.5 mile “death march” through a wash on a very windy day. Mark was a bit concerned I got us lost as the sun went down behind the McDowell Mountains. Since we have felt the same way on many of the hikes they’ve taken us on, it was fun to have the tables turned for a change.


Lots of rain over the weekend meant lots of snow for the surrounding mountains.


On another cold and rainy day Mark and Bobbie joined us at the movies in Scottsdale where we met up with Alex and Ellen. We all really liked Hidden Figures, the story of the African-American women mathematicians who worked for NASA in the 60s. Conveniently, McFate Brewery was just up the road, so we had pizza and beer after. The Gingerbread Stout and Orange Brownsicle on nitro were really good.


Other than that we’ve had a few more doctor appointments. Jim had a crown fall off and can attest that it’s not easy finding a dentist office open on a Friday afternoon, but finally found one in Mesa who cemented it back on. He also saw an ophthalmologist in Mesa who specializes in corneal transplants, which Jim may need one day due to his hereditary Fuch’s dystrophy. He was having some blurred vision in one eye, and Dr. McKee thought it wasn’t due to the Fuch’s but to dry eyes. Since he is already using hot compresses and Restasis drops daily, which have helped, he suggested trying punctal plugs, tiny plugs that block the tears from draining down into the tear ducts. They seem to be making a big difference, but they dissolve within three to six months and have to be replaced. When he goes back in March he will ask about permanent plugs so he won’t have to find an eye doctor to put them in again after we leave here.

We filled in for quite a few extra shifts at Fearless Kitty over the past month. With the move to the new larger building there are extra rooms to care for, and they didn’t have time to train new volunteers during the move. Things have settled down now and we worked yesterday morning for the first time in a week.

Jim the cat whisperer.


I’m sure there have been other noteworthy things we’ve done lately but since I haven’t been taking many photos I can’t remember what they are. Clearly I need to go back to carrying the camera and blogging more often.


Hope our friends in Quartzite are having a good time, and that the weather there is better than what it’s been here. We’re ready for some sun and 70s!

Addendum: Six hours later and I remembered something else that happened last week. I had my 62nd birthday, one I was actually excited about for a change since I am now eligible for Social Security and the Senior Pass, which is still $10. Have to get one soon before the price increase.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Felines, Friends, and Physicians


P1050855                                            Another great site at McDowell Mountain

Things have been busy these last couple weeks of 2016, taking care of annual and other medical appointments, hanging with friends, hiking and biking, and spending time at Fearless Kitty Rescue.

Some of the feathered and furry friends at our site.






First for the medical. Jim had his annual visits with the hematologist and dermatologist, and an emergency visit to the ophthalmologist. He started having flashing lights and floaters in the left eye, but luckily it was just another vitreous detachment, which he has had before. Nothing to be done, just another one of those aging issues.

When I saw the primary care PA last week she said I was overdue for a colonoscopy. I really didn’t want to get it done, but they scheduled me for February, after we plan to leave here. I called to cancel and see if they had an earlier appointment, and the only thing available before February was for December 23. Since my call took place on the 20th, I decided to just get it over with. Of course the prep was unpleasant, but I survived and had the procedure with no problems, other than the doctor found a very small (2 mm) polyp. Much to my surprise, the biopsy report showed it was precancerous, and I am to have a repeat colonoscopy in three years. I am certainly glad I didn’t put this off.


Friends Alex and Ellen have been over several times for bike riding. Maikel and Susan stayed for 2 weeks, their first time here. And we met Tim and Florence, Lazy Daze owners from California who were here last week. On Christmas Day, after we returned from our shift at Fearless Kitty, we all took a 7 mile hike on the Scenic trail, a great way to spend the day. Barely 50 degrees outside and snow from the previous day on the mountains.




DSC06914                                    Maikel, Susan, Ellen, Tim, Jim, Alex, and Florence

DSC06917                                                         Same except I’m in this one


We’ve been spending quite a bit of time at Fearless Kitty Rescue, helping them get moved into the new building, and filling in for some extra shifts caring for the cats. What an amazing feat to move a rescue over the week of the Christmas/New Year holiday, all with just the help of volunteers.

20161224_103232                                                                         Shasta, one of our favorites


We don’t normally go out on New Year’s Eve, but today we are stopping to do laundry on our way to meet friends at the movies this afternoon. Plan to stop for a drink on the way home, but will be back long before the serious New Years Eve party crowd gets on the road.

Wishing a great 2017 to our friends, family, and blog readers! See you next year…


Monday, December 12, 2016

Passing Time


Hard to believe another couple of weeks have passed here at McDowell Mountain Park. Been keeping busy with biking and Fearless Kitty. We helped set up for the annual Holiday Pet Festival in Scottsdale on the 3rd, spent a day taking down shelves in the old building and rearranging things in the new building in preparation for the tile being installed this week. That along with our usual days of caring for the cats. Here are just a few of the cuties awaiting a new home. And no, that new home won’t be ours!





It was time to move sites again last week. Our last site had a great view of sunset over the McDowell Mountains.


Our current site gives us a view of sunrise over Arizona’s Four Peaks and the Mazatzal Mountain Range.


And our very own coyote.


I put up two hummingbird feeders and they are getting lots of use. I’ve been trying to get some good photos of their color, but maybe one in fifty turns out halfway decent. This beautiful Anna’s hummingbird was sitting in the tree where one of the feeders is hanging. He just sat there on a branch and let me take as many shots as I wanted. They are gorgeous when the sunlight catches them just right.



Couldn’t leave out the finches.


Friends Alex and Ellen left the park but moved nearby to Eagle View RV Park for a couple months to work on some RV projects with their friend Scott. They are close enough that we’ve been by their place for happy hour, and they’ve come and ridden bikes with us a couple times.

We should know better than to hang around people like them who have big class As, since that got us looking at RVs again. Took a drive to Surprise to check out a 32’ Tiffin, which we both really liked. The owners were very nice and let us drive it. I only went round and round the huge (4,000 unit!) storage lot, but Jim drove down Bell Road and on the 101 for several miles. There is way too much traffic in that part of town so he was not very comfortable, although it is only two feet longer (and taller) and one inch wider than our Lazy Daze. Sitting up so high with that giant windshield was a bit intimidating for the first time. As usual, we will probably do nothing, but it’s something we would enjoy having as we sit for awhile in one place, and I imagine we could get used to driving it eventually.

We would really miss our big windows, though, especially since we got them de-fogged.


One day we were eating lunch and noticed a car with bicycles on the back slowly going by our site. They stopped and Jim walked out to see if it was someone we knew. Turned out to be Mike and Deb, from Trekking With The Bs. They are staying at an RV park in Mesa, as she is still working part time, but they’ll be here at McDowell for a few days in January before we leave. Look forward to visiting more with them then.

Last Thursday we took a drive to Mesa to do laundry, and then met Debbie for lunch at San Tan Brewery in Chandler, which is halfway between McDowell and Casa Grande, where she is staying. Always fun to catch up, and we even took a couple photos for her mom!

McDowell Mountain 20162

Jim went back to the Mayo Clinic for blood tests, which were all normal. He and Alex are the same age, and they were complaining about lack of stamina and being tired. Their standing joke now is “Remember, you’re not 66 any more”. Ellen and I, who are both soon to be 62, joked that we should have married younger men. Smile

If I don’t get around to posting again before Christmas. hope everyone enjoys the holiday season, no matter how you celebrate it!