Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Bayfield Bunch.

Yep, Monday was the day.  The Bayfield’s are coming, the Bayfield’s are coming.  Hip, hip, hurray!! The Bayfield's are coming!!
Sure enough, right after lunch I looked up and I saw the Bayfield Bunch in the drive. We were so excited to finally get to meet Al and Kelly of Bayfield, Ontario Canada. Al is well known in the Blogger world and he and I have been contacting one another for several years. But this was our first meeting face to face. Al has a wonderful way with words and even a more wonderful way with a camera. Never has a better Blog hit the Internet than Al’s. Bar none!! He is my favorite and I read his Blog every morning first thing.

This is an insert from Al’s own profile:
                     “Kelly & Al are a quiet couple who live with their dogs in a cozy mobile home in the 5 Seasons Resort on the outskirts of Bayfield, Ontario Canada. We travel to the American Southwest in our motorhome during the winter months. I am a quiet sort of fellow who prefers to walk his own path and not bother anyone along the way”

Al and I have always hit it off together. Mainly because I think we are a lot alike in many ways, but still different. He is just one guy that I feel I could trust in every way. He says what he feels and if you don’t agree, that’s fine. but still he is a very caring guy and would do anything for a friend.
As Al stepped out of his Jeep, a big wind gust came up and his hat flew off.  I was close by and I just reached out and caught it.  I handed it to him and said HELLO, as we shook hands. Right away, I knew a hand shake with this guy wasn’t enough. We had a great big, respectable HUG!!  Now I don’t hug many guys.....only the ones that have crept in this cold, old heart of mine.  Al is one of those guys.  I felt as if we had been friends for years.  Well.....I guess we had!!

Soon we were all sitting inside our porch and here Ms. Pat is explaining that after me talking about Al so much, she decided to check his Blog out herself. Now she reads his work every morning and is hooked.
Kelly is herself a spark of pleasantness and her and Ms. Pat hit it right off…….. 
P1030092 P1030094
What a wonderful couple these two are.  It's easy to see how they compliment each other so well....just like Ms. Pat and myself.  Both Al and I would be the first to admit that it is these two Gals that keep us “Rollin”!!Winking smile

All too soon it was time for the Bayfield Bunch to head for home. The wind was blowing 30+ mph and they needed to get home to check on their motorhome.  To say that we enjoyed our time spent with these two fine RV’ers from that great land way up North, would be an understatement for sure!!
Thank you so much Al and Kelly for stopping by our place to visit.  It is truly an honor.  We sure hope there is some way we can entice you to come back and also to come to our “other”  piece of Heaven in the great Black Hills of South Dakota.  Our doors are always open to special friends like you.

It is a GREAT WEEK !!!!

Thanks for stopping by and God Bless you all!


This Blog is Published every Wednesday and Sunday..

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Wildlife Camera

The Wildlife camera has been clicking away in the front yard.............
Way back on Dec 5TH, the camera caught this guy paying us a visit.  As you can see, it was cool that evening at almost 9:00pm…….37 deg. I’ll bet he is looking for a warm bowl of milk.

Then this fellow stopped by around 5:22 am on the 8TH of Dec.  It was freezing that morning. He probably wouldn’t pass up a saucer of warm milk either.

On Dec 17TH it caught Julie, our mail lady,  just as she was leaving. Dale and Julie are great North Ranch neighbors and pick up our mail for us everyday when they go to the Post Office.  It was an enjoyable 65 deg at 1:26 pm. Strange how it gets so cool here in the Winter at night but warms up so nice in the daytime…. makes sleeping real good!

Whoops!!  Then it caught me "moseying" out one morning.....I "mosey" a lot. :-)

We’re really getting the wildlife, aren’t we? Here is Ms. Pat taking some pots and pans out to the motorhome.  Maybe I better move the camera to the backyard….:-)

WGI_0005-1 it is in the back yard.  First night it catches our friend at 10:00pm . I don’t want to feed them but it's been real dry and I thought a little water wouldn’t hurt.  I think this is a beautiful Cat.

"Blackie" had stopped by a little earlier and had a “sip”.  I don’t see how these feral cats stay alive roaming around the area with all the coyotes, mountain lions and whatever else is out there. They must be "tuff" and smart. I never see these cats anywhere around in the daytime.

It caught a picture of me filling the water pan..

I get lots of Bunny "Wabbits"……….

And "Boids".....lots of "Boids".....(That's cat talk for birds)  :-)

One of the first pictures I got right after I set the camera up in the back yard way back on Nov 25TH was Mr. Coyote.  It was just after midnight and I have never seen him since. The camera must have really scared him off. I keep trying to get him again but no luck yet! We’ll keep on clicking and let you know what else we see out there in the dark of night…

It was a GREAT WEEK!!!!

We are so happy and "honored" to have one of the WORLD'S most well known, famous Bloggers right here in our desert boon docking less than a mile from our doorstep. The BAYFIELD BUNCH is very close.  We are looking forward to getting together with them before they vamoose the area.  Al and Kelly, we can’t wait to meet you guys.  If there is ANYTHING you need, please let us know.

Thanks for stopping by and God Bless you all.


This Blog is Published every Sunday and Wednesday..

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Spring Is About To SPRING!!

OK, I will not bore you with any more reloading, guns, or shooting. (for a while)Smile
I’ll bore you with more pictures of my one and only “Angel Kitty”, Ms. Megabyte. Most of you know the story behind this little gal, as I’ve discussed it a time or two before in my Blog. Here she is patiently waiting for me to complete my breakfast so we can get out on the screened-in porch that she loves so much. She is actually one of the family.  Janna, I don't know how you manage to keep Emmi out of your bed, Ms Megabyte would never stand for that!  :-)  And yes, I do think the "no see ums" can bite dogs....I think they will bite ANYTHING!!

She gets up on my lap and tells me “Hurry up, Pops and get this stupid Blog done so we can go out on the Porch”!

“Pops, help me get out of did I get all brown like this”? Smile

Can you believe that February is about OVER?  Holy Cow, where does the time go?  It is good to see Spring is coming and it's starting to warm up. Soon we will be wishing for a little cooler weather. By then, it will be time to move to our "cabin" in the Black Hills and it will be cool again. Only about 3 months and we’ll be headed that way but first, we are going to enjoy some of this beautiful Arizona weather.  La fiesta is a big celebration here in the park and that is a sure sign that spring is almost here. Ms. Pat is Co-chair for the La Fiesta Dance and many others are preparing for the big La Fiesta Parade, Games. and Food!!

This is for Bev…….. Bev is one of my followers and left a comment on my Blog last Sunday that touched me. She is a Super Salesperson and is selling La Fiesta pins for the support of the North Ranch La Fiesta Celebration and she is doing a GREAT JOB! At the Sunday night Ice Cream social at the clubhouse, she sold Ms. Pat a pin, which I paid for and told Bev that I couldn’t afford one for myself…….. this is the comment she left on my Blog:

      Mike: Love yours and Miss Pat's blog! Thanks to Jerry Cavanaugh, my hubby also invested in reloading equipment. Does your savings mean you'll be able to purchase a La Fiesta pin? :-) "The Happy Hatter"

  Ha-ha, I got a real laugh out of that comment.  I had no idea she even read the Blog and if you’re a blogger, you know how much the comments mean to us and how we enjoy them. Wow, it means someone actually reads this!!

Well Bev, that is not only super salesmanship, but it won me over.  You bet I’ll buy a pin!  Thank you for reading my blog, and for taking the time to comment.  But more especially, thank you for the time and effort you put into making North Ranch the best place in the world to live. What a wonderful group of neighbors we have.  That is what has kept Ms. Pat and I coming back year after year for over 14 years.  Keep up the good work!!  One day I’m going to get a picture of Bev and her beautiful American Hat and put it right here on the Blog for you all to see why she is the “Happy Hatter”!  I love it!!!

It is a GREAT WEEK !!!!

I want to welcome a couple New Followers that have been around for a while……


Thank you all so much for reading the Blog and for your comments. I LOVE them. 

Thanka for stopping by and hope you will come back real soon… 

Meanwhile my Angel Kitty wants some attention……See ya'll later.


This Blog is Published every Wednesday and Sunday..

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Installing the new Bench…

Remember I told you in my last Blog that I had to make room in my shop for the new Work Bench? Well, this is the mess I was talking about.  I had temporarily put my new Dillon 550B Reloader up on this table until I found a workbench.  All this “stuff” had to come out and I needed to get organized! What am I going to do with all this?

OK, I got the bench in the Shop. it gonna fit?  OH!! MY!!  Where is Ms. Gina…the world's best organizer? That girl is outstanding.... she can do miracles.  She took one look at my shop up in South Dakota and said “Pop’s this place needs some organization”!  I told her that if it was organized I probably wouldn’t be able to find anything!! She told me to just leave her alone in the place for a couple hours and she would "fix" it…. So I was outta there! Smile

A little while later she came and "found" me and said “Come on Pops, I want to show you your shop”. WOW, let me tell you, I was speechless!! It was out of this world what that girl had done in such a short time.  I stood and looked at it all so nicely arranged as she said “See here Pops. all your nails are here, your bolts are here, and paint here, etc.” Gee, now I could actually find stuff!  Yep, I sure need her now.  I miss her in more ways than one. I was so happy on Valentine’s day when she took time out of her busy, busy schedule and made a special call to wish me Happy Valentines day!! Bless her sweet made my day!

It looks like it may fit.  I’m getting it closer and closer…

There, it's in place and it fits…..

I knew I was going to need lots of light, so I found a light that I liked and installed it on my work table.  This lamp has a lid on top that you flip up and then it’s a Magnifying Glass!! Just the ticket for my eyes that don’t seem to be improving with my age...I need lots of light!

Ha, there it is, all set up, lamp and everything. Ready to make Bullets!

Thanks for all the comments and emails on the Workbench. I forgot to mention that we bought it at, none other than, Harbor Freight.  I am very happy with it, just what the Doctor Ordered!! If any of you decide to get one, let me know and I’ll tell you how and where to get a coupon that will save you a few more bucks.

Jerry checks my settings
Jerry had showed me his Dillon Reloader (he has about 4 of them) and told me when I got mine all set up, he would stop by and help me get started. Jerry has been shooting and reloading for about 50 years. He and his wife Caryl are Ms. Pats instructors at her range shooting class. I was very grateful for the help as I had several questions about things I wasn’t sure of. He showed me how to set it properly and he made a couple bullets as I watched.

Put the bullet right here and pull the handle.........
Then he said “OK. now it's your turn”! Here I go, lets see now, put the bullet right there and then pull the lever……….

Aw Ha. my "new calipers" tell me that my "new bullet" is right on!!
Ah Ha, there we first BULLET…my calipers say it is right on!! I made about 10 and took them out to the range the next day and shot them.  They worked GREAT!  So I came home and made 300 more.   See, you can teach an old dog new tricks!! I learned a new TRICK!!

It was a GREAT WEEK!! 

Thanks for stopping by and thanks to everyone for all the help and encouragement. Rod, I sure enjoy the Speer’s Reloading Manual you advised me to get. 

Have a great week everyone and God Bless you all.. as we take time to give thanks to our Father in Heaven for all His Blessing bestowed upon us….


This Blog is Published every Sunday and Wednesday..

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Not Another Project ?

Putting together a Workbench can’t be hard, can it?   Naw, this is gonna be fun!  Ms. Pat found this workbench on the internet and I liked the looks of it. I needed a workbench for my Reloader since the table I was using was too low.  Friday when we were in the Big City, we went to  look at it…….looked great to me.  This should work fine and luckily, it was “on sale”.  The list price was $230.00 and with the sale and a coupon we had, the total ended up being $130.00.   I couldn’t build one for that!!  So we brought it home. WOW, was it ever HEAVY!  The big healthy boys at the store loaded it into my pickup…..(love that Pickup)

Now getting it unloaded when we got home was only the start of the project. Ms. Pat and I slid it out of the truck bed and let one end down, then the other. That wasn’t bad, now it’s unloaded in the middle of the carport... time to open the box! Ms. Pat was busy, so I told her to get on back to her project and I would handle this…

I don’t know how they get so much packed into these boxes.  I had parts and pieces strung all the way around the carport as I checked to make sure all of the parts were there...Hmmm, let’s see now………Uh Oh, you guessed it, Chinese directions.  I should have known.

There were more "dad gum" pieces than you can believe. Here is one I recognize....the TOP!!  Let’s see where is all this other stuff?   What is this it says here? I went in and told Ms. Pat that it says this is a “two person” job. You have to have a companion!!  Smile

Soon we had the ends fastened to the lower shelf with these special “bolts”.  It took us longer to read and understand how to use them than it did to do it! I should have taken Chinese in school……

Even Ms. Pat gets into reading the directions as we attach the base to the top.  This thing is well built and it is heavy….. I told her, let's not get it backwards because I would like to have the drawers in the FRONT!!   Smile

Hey, lookin' good and so far I’m impressed with it. I don’t need this wood vise that comes with it and I may take it off later..

WOW,!!  Now the drawers……4 of them and a "jillion" pieces...NO KIDDING!   Let's see....where are those directions????  Part #16 fastens to #17 and that fastens to #19 after you first insert #23 and, and.......Hey, there is no number on this one....this is confusing!!! 

Finally about got one done...........,I’m the screwer…..Sad smile 
Ya.... I’m the screwer alright……The "screwer-upper" that is!!  After we got the first one done, it wouldn’t fit and we discovered I had the ends mixed up.   Ms. Pat left me alone for 5 minutes and I screwed it up. :-)  Soooo.....take it apart and start over. Ms. Pat says "stay calm, take a deep breath, we'll get it"..  At least I’m glad we didn’t do them all that way.  It's fun doing this kind of stuff with Ms. Pat, because the more frustrated I get, the more she laughs…then she gets me laughing……Ha ha, it’s a getting all mad and bent out of shape for sure!

Ah Ha, the finished product.  Drawers are on the front and they even WORK. They are felt lined and everything…..I like it.  This should work fine for my Reloading bench.  Now to get it in my shop…..  That’s gonna take some doing, as it’s a MESS!!

It is a GREAT WEEK!!!!

Thanks for stopping by………….


This Blog is Published every Wednesday and Sunday..

Sunday, February 12, 2012

A Full Day at Ben Avery Shooting Facility in Arizona

Yesterday was our big day at the Ben Avery Shooting Facility just North of Phoenix. As I mentioned in my last Blog, we were scheduled to spend a long day at one of the largest dedicated shooting and training facilities in the U.S. Since we were informed they had a campground, we decided it would give us a chance to take the Motorhome for needed exercise and spend the night right at the facility. Friday by 10:00am, we were cruising down the highway on a beautiful day with Ms. Pat in the co-pilot seat and Ms. Megabyte2 curled up in my recliner. It was a wonderful day and a great day to travel. I was just getting warmed up when we arrived at our destination. Wow!!   60 miles and I didn’t want to stop yet. I could have easily have driven 600 miles. :-)

By noon we had arrived at “Shooters Campground”, paid the fee, found our campsite and gotten all settled in. There were only a few other campers here and the campsites were huge with 50 amp Electric and Water hook ups at each site.. This is a BIG PLACE, over 1500 acres.  Aw, some time to sit back and relax a little before our big day tomorrow that starts early, like at 7:00am. NOPE, time to run into the big city and hit Costco, Sportsman’s Warehouse, Sam’s and WalMart, etc. We didn’t even make it home by Happy Hour and man we hit some outrageous traffic……..5:30 before we got back to the Campsite but we had accomplished a lot.

We had all our shopping done and saved us a separate trip.  Now thankfully, we won’t have to come back to this terrible traffic for a while, I hope! We are spoiled, living way out in the quiet country like we do…..that 80mph, 10 lane, bumper to bumper traffic about drives me bonkers…Whew!
With a good night's sleep, we were up and ready to go at 7:00am. There were 40 people signed up for this class and they fill up weeks in advance.. We spent all morning in the classroom learning all types of Arizona laws and procedures, along with safety procedures, safe gun handling, sight alignment and even some gun cleaning tips.  We had a 45 minute break at lunch time and were instructed to show up at the pistol range with 100 rounds of ammunition.

After a couple hours of closely supervised hands on gun handling instructions and several different shooting scenarios at the range, we went straight back to the classroom for more training.  We were both so busy we didn’t have time to get any pictures of us all shooting. The final shoot was for qualification. Ms. Pat shot right ahead of me. I knew she would put the pressure on and she did!  Shot 100% with about a 3” pattern. The instructor was quite impressed and complimented her and told her “Excellent”!  Ugh, now that really put the pressure on me! I told myself I was going to beat her.  Wow, now I can only “tie” her……but could I do that?  She never slacks up……. she is trying to make me nervous and she succeeded.  I was nervous. I tried to calm down, you know, deep breaths and all that.

Now wait a minute, I’ve done this a zillion times.  Why should I be nervous?  I thought..."she has been shooting more than me, my eyes aren’t what they used to be, etc., etc."  Hmmm...excuses, excuses.  :-) Anyhow, I got myself relaxed a little and went up and shot 100%.  Whew.....I must have got lucky, my pattern was even a “little” closer than hers...not much but a little! 

Now the last exercise was the final qualification 22 question TEST.  Oh, I hate tests……..and you had to pass.  Ms. Pat flew through hers and wouldn’t let me see any of her answers.   Darn!.  :-)  A couple of questions were confusing and worded poorly in my opinion.  I knew she would get 100% on this test too, so I had to be careful and bear down.  I finally finished and turned it in to the instructors for grading.  I was getting tired, it had been a long day…….
This is Ken, Head Instructor, and owner of “Gun’s Plus”, a large Gun store in Surprise,AZ. He was very impressed and happy with Ms. Pat and congratulated her in getting 100% on both her qualification shoot and the final test.  Nice job, Girl.  You can bet I am proud of this gal !!
Yep, ole' Ken was even proud of me, as I also managed to get 100% on both.  Whew....that Gal really puts the pressure on me, big time!! Smile  Oh yeah, I forgot to mention they had a drawing and Ms. Pat won a Gun's Plus T-shirt. 

By 5:30 when the class was dismissed, both of us were beat and tired. Sure glad we had our home nearby.  In two minutes, we were home relaxing in our easy chairs.

Soon after we got home, I noticed a few balloons on the horizon just before sundown. There were half a dozen balloons but I could only get these two.
It was a  beautiful Sunset and you can just barely see one of the balloons coming into the picture.  Now I’ll bet those folks in that Balloon have some kind of a view!!

But it doesn’t get much better than this!!!

It was a GREAT WEEK!!!!

Today, we are getting ready to travel the 60 miles back home and unload everything we loaded up, plus the big supply of groceries and necessities we bought in the Big city!! Through all of this, Ms. Megabyte2 just doesn’t know what to think!!  But she is still her lovable cute little self.....continuing to enhance our lives to no end!!

Thanks for stopping by....drop back Wednesday if you can.  Meanwhile God Bless you all!!


This Blog is Published every Sunday and Wednesday..