Saturday, February 28, 2009
It's March ALREADY!!!!2009
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Our FIRST desert ride of 2009!!!
(click on all pictures to enlarge)
Soon it was time for Larry and Geri to head on North. They wanted to spend a day at the Grand Canyon on their way. It's tough leaving such beautiful weather and country knowing that soon you will be running into snow and freezing weather. We tried to talk them into staying a while longer, but they have lots to do to prepare for the opening of their Campground and had to leave. We will miss them and look forward to seeing them again soon in the Black Hills.
Sunday, February 22, 2009
Megabyte2-Bad news and Good news.
When the very caring and concerned Vet examined her, she said "she definitely has a serious problem". Our only solution was to do a "C" section and determine what was going on. So at 9:00am poor little frightened Mega2 was prepped and taken to the operating room. We weren't allowed to watch and were told to go on home and call back about 11am and check. Pat and I were convinced that she was in very good hands, as all the folks at the Clinic, from the front desk gals to the surgery assistant, to the kennel help and the lady Veterinarian were all extremely kind and concerned. We had to sign a surgery consent form, just like when I or the kids had surgery.
Then, we came on back home. Gosh, we were both nervous wrecks and poor Ms Pat hadn't had much sleep all night long and I didn't get a lot myself. I wondered if 11am would ever get here, but it finally did and Pat called the Vet. Then the BAD NEWS. The baby kittens didn't make it. They were not alive and had to be removed. However, the GOOD NEWS was that Mega2 was OK. She was still under heavy sedation and had been through a quite serious operation, but she would be fine and we could pick her up about 3pm. Of course, we were there promptly at 3, anxious to see little Ms Mega2. She was still very, groggy and woozy, but she was glad to see us.
The Vet told us that Mega2 was very lucky that we picked her up and had her with us and could get her this medical attention, as she would have almost certainly died without it. She said that Mega2 was way to young to have babies. I ask her if our bringing her along with us could have contributed to this problem and she said definitely not, that it probably saved her life. She further stated that Mega2 was not fully developed herself, was probably less than a year old and just not ready to be having kittens...
(click on all pictures to enlarge)
Here she is on the second day after her surgery. She is doing fine and enjoying being out sitting in the sunshine and the great weather we are having. She is still on antibiotics, which she hates to take, plus ear drops for an infection she was developing in her ears. She doesn't like you messing with her!!!! All this along with a special diet of vitamin enhanced food and she will be all well in no time, I'm sure. Needless to say she is the "center" of attraction around here. The Vet even calls at night to see how she is doing and one of the gals from their office stopped by on her way home from work. A GREAT bunch of folks at the Bar S Animal Clinic here in Wickenburg, AZ. You couldn't ask for better.
The weather has really turned nice here in Arizona the last few days. It got up to 70* yesterday and was 55* when we got up this morning. We were able to get in a neat 4-wheeling ride yesterday for a few hours way out in the desert with our friends Larry and Geri Gustafson, owners and operators of Broken Arrow Campground, which is located just 3 miles south of our place in the Black Hills near Custer, SD. I'll tell you more about that in my Wed post. I've got some neat pictures of the trip. Larry and Geri are leaving tomorrow and heading back up towards their place. I noticed that it was only 10* in Custer the last few mornings and although they aren't looking forward to that weather, they have a LOT to do to get the Campground open for Spring... Sorry to see them go as they are a fun couple to have around. But we understand and we'll see them in a couple months......
This is Larry and Geri and Pat last night at as we were grilling a couple steaks after our 40 mile ride in the desert. Now you can see why I LOVE it here.
Travel SAFE you two!!!
I'm also sorry I've been so lax in getting back to a lot of emails, questions, etc. But Boy, have we been BUSY!!! I guess the old saying "no rest for the wicked" is true. But time sure flies by and we don't have time to worry about the terrible situation the world seems to be in or anything else. So I guess I'd rather be BUSY!!
That's it for today, thanks for stopping by and we'd love to hear from you.
It was a GREAT WEEK!!!!!!
This Blog is Published every Sunday and Wednesday.
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
NO KITTENS YET!!!!!! Wed Feb 17TH
We have had a lot of visitors the last few days, but we are getting a lot of things taken care of. I sold another one of my HughesNet fiberglass Satellite dishes and some TV LNB's to a gentleman in a town about 50 miles from here. He picked them up Monday and I also sold my old Prosine 2K inverter that I replaced when I was in Florida. That was picked up yesterday. So I'm getting rid of stuff right and left and lightening up the load a little.
The weather here in Arizona is somewhat cool in Feb. The mornings are in the mid to high 30's, but it warms up during the day. The coldest morning we've had since we left South Texas was the 27 deg's at Deming, NM. Those are the mornings that our NEW BLUE FLAME heater feels real good.
The Happy Hours have been at our place each evening and that's where the gang has been gathering. Tom & Sally (our neighbors at North Ranch and at Retama) and Larry & Geri Gustafson were here yesterday. Larry and Geri, our neighbors and owners of the beautiful Broken Arrow Campground near Custer, SD are here and have their 4-wheeler with them. They will be joining us on our ride Friday. It sure is great to spend some time with them. They are booking reservations at their Campground daily. I'll have some pictures of our ride....I'm sure looking forward to it!!
This is Geri and Ms Pat at the same cookout. They have a beautiful Campground and facility. They have only been open for 2 summer's and they are booked up every summer. We encourage you, if you plan to be in the area, to stay with them. Everyone we send there LOVES IT!!!!
Sunday, February 15, 2009
Second to Custer, SD., this is my favorite place to be. Look at all that OPEN SPACE behind our lot and the "Mountain" in the distance. That's all BLM property where we can ride our 4 wheeler for miles and miles. To the left is another Mountain range. There was snow on the mountains when we arrived yesterday. What a sight!! This is a beautiful valley!
UPDATE..........No KITTENS YET,,,,,,,,,,,,,I know from the emails and phone calls we receive that a lot of you are anxiously awaiting, just as we are. Little Ms Megabyte2 has done as we requested and waited until we arrived at North Ranch before having her kittens. All this has been a little much for her! We must remember that only a few weeks ago she was a "stray", sleeping under an old shed and just visiting us whenever she wanted. She has taken to most of the new life real well, but she has to be confused as heck right now. Especially with her being an expectant new mother and all. Pat is sure this is her first litter, as she is very young. But now we are stationary for a few months and can deal with all this better. Thank you all for your interest and help with this undertaking. It's been an experience. Now,we can get these kittens born, weaned and delivered to all the folks that have requested one. Ms Mega2 is a real cute, sweet kitty and I can only hope that she is enjoying all this and doesn't wish she was back under that shed........
We had a great Gypsy Journal Rally this year. The attendance was down, but the enjoyment was fantastic. Even though we had Wind, Rain, Frost, Mud and early morning temps in the 30's, we had one of our most successful Rallies ever. We sold over a dozen PressurePro Systems, (some very large systems) 7 PowerTanks and LOTs of DriWash waterless RV cleaning products. Pat and I were on the go for 5 days straight..... We were both really WORN OUT!!!! Thankfully, now we can relax and pull ourselves together a bit. Although we still have a ton of "stuff" to get done, we have some time. Old folks need time,,,,right?!!!
A friend recently told me that he was always taught to "respect his elders", but now days he doesn't have any!!! That's about where I am at right now!! Once in a while I run into someone OLDER than I am, but not often!!!!LOL
Thanks for stopping by. Hope you will drop by again soon...either in person if you're close by or to this Blog. Remember we love hearing from you. I have a Blog analysis that keeps track of the people that read the Posts and it always amazes me with the numbers. Dozens of you that stopped by our rig at the Rally told me that you read the Blog every Sunday and Wed and enjoy it. That's what makes it all worth while!!!!
It was a GREAT WEEK!!!!! (thanks Bob!)
This Blog Published every Sunday and Wednesday
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
We had BOMBS!!!!
About that time Ms Pat, who was inside the Rig writing up an order, yelled " the POWER just went off"!! Ah, ha, I thought, that explains it, it must have been a power transformer. Then in another instant there were TWO more BOOMS of nearly the same magnitude, but not quite as shocking as the first. Several people hollered "Pull the POWER plug on your rig, there may well be POWER SURGES"! Everybody started running towards there Motorhome, Bus, or 5TH wheel. Power surges are the RV'ers WORST nightmare, as they can raise havoc with all or any of your appliances and electronics. That's the main reason that I always go the extra route and spend the bucks for a Power Line Monitor. A good PLM can save you many times over in such instances as this. I wasn't too worried about a surge getting into our Coach, but I thought why chance it, so I pulled our plug also.
When our power goes out, as many of you that have an Inverter standing by know, you can hardly tell it happened. The Inverter switches over from it's standby mode to supplying the power from our batteries and converting it to the needed 110V AC. It happens so FAST that the computers, clocks, etc. don't even flicker and stay on just as if nothing happened. I was getting over 20 amps of charge from my Solar Panels, which was more than enough to offset what the Inverter was taking out of them.. We could care less if the POWER goes off, especially when the sun is shining or if we have our batteries charged up to the full 800 amp capacity.
Those Power line fuses that BLEW and then the LARGE HOLE it blew in the Transformer caused a lot of conversation the rest of the day. I'm happy to report that there was a Power Company Crew right here at the Fairgrounds working on something else. So, they were on scene immediately!!! Within an hour they had it fixed!!! That was NEAT!!!! because the ENTIRE area was without power, it totally shut down all the Seminars and other proceedings that was going on at this BUSY PLACE!!!
I LOVE this Gypsy Journal Rally, it is one of the BEST as far as Pat and I are concerned. Nick and Terry really know how to put on a RALLY!!!! Second to NONE!!!! This is our 3RD Gypsy Journal Rally here at Casa Grande and these gracious hosts make you feel so much like you are family and appreciated that it's mighty enjoyable. Plus, we have so many old friends and customers here that it's like old "homecoming". I'm not much of a Rally person (and we've been to dozens of them), so for me to say that, it must be SUPERB!!! If you ever get a chance to come to one,,don't miss it!!!
Yesterday morning was our Seminar here at the Rally and WHAT A TURN OUT we had!!!!! 55 people attended, standing room only....... Plus afterwards we sold PressurePro System after System and TWO PowerTanks!!! That along with lots of folks buying Dri-Wash Waterless Car Wash & Polish and signing up one Dealer, made the day VERY successful!!!
With such a GREAT and successful and exciting day under our belt, we attended the Door Prize drawing at the Main events center at 7pm. After a few dozen drawings, we WON a free ONE YEAR membership in PassPort America, the very popular discount camping club valued at about $50.00...............Hmmm,,,wouldn't you know it, when Pat went up front to accept the prize, she advised Nick (the MC announcer) that about 10 years ago, we purchased a LIFETIME membership to PassPort America and requested that they redraw so someone else could win.... So that's what they did. That was a pleasant, satisfying gesture and we were happy and ready to head home for some quiet time......
WAIT, the evening was not over for us yet. One more BIG EVENT. The 50/50 drawing......most of you know what that is... a lot of events have the 50/50. Our GOOD friends, Customers and fellow Bloggers, JERRY and SUZY work exceptionally hard selling the 5o/50 tickets everyday at the Rally. They sell tickets for $1.00 each and the money goes into a pot and each night a name is drawn to the LUCKY person that gets 1/2 of the POT. I bet you can see where this is going!!!:-) Jerry and Suzy usually sell about $500.-$600.00 worth of tickets every day, so that means $250.-$300.00 for the LUCKY winner.
We usually buy $5.00 worth of tickets but I had a "feeling" yesterday, so I bought $10.00 worth of tickets. I know you've guessed it by now. You're right!! One of our 10 numbers was pulled!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hallelujah,,,,,we went home with an extra $250.00 in our pocket.... MAN, what a DAY!!!!! Isn't it GREAT to be alive!!! It was then bed time after a long, hard, HAPPY and very SATISFYING day!!!!
One last thing,,,,,,,,Little Miss Megabyte2 has become some what of a celebrity. Since Nick mentioned her in his National coverage Blog last week, she is one WELL known kitty!!! He even made a joke announcement at one of the large group gatherings that he would NOT allow us to give away a "kitten" as a door prize! Everyone wants to know about her and maybe even get a glimpse of her. So she is getting a lot of attention. Plus, we now have almost a waiting line for one or two of the kittens.
First and FOREMOST on that list is Sally Lockwood, our fellow HDT'ers and Neighbors at North Ranch and Retama Village. Tom and Sally surprised us by attending the Rally. We hadn't seen them for about a year. How GREAT to see them and get to spend some time with them. Many of you know Tom and Sally well. Sally lost her long time friend and companion cat "Arsenio" over a year ago. She is still in mourning and once she found out we had Mega2 and that she was in a family way, she said "Boy, I am ready!!!,,,,I will take TWO!!!" The Lord works in mysterious but GREAT ways!! Sally, you can have the "pick of the litter" X 2. (-:
But, STILL no babies!!!!! We just know it will be soon, but maybe she is going to honor my request and wait until we get to North Ranch. That's only 3 days away!!!!! Come on Girl,,hold on !!!!
Thanks for stopping by and I'm sorry this is so long, but it's been EXCITING around here and I wanted to share it with you!!!
It's a GREAT WEEK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This Blog Published every Wednesday and Sunday.....
Sunday, February 8, 2009
Rallies and RAIN, go together.
The Gypsy Journal Rally is taking form. Many of the Volunteers and the Vendors like to arrive early and get prepared. We have a "staging area" in sort of a group near Nick and Terry's Bus.
Here is a picture of part of the group. That's Nick and Terry's Bus in the background and the friends and workers are gathering. Poor Nick and Terry, they have so much going on all at once and so many people coming at them that they are going nuts. But these folks are Pro's at this and as I always say "this isn't their FIRST RODEO"!!!
They do EXCEPTIONALLY well!!! Here is a link to Nick's Blog that he publishes every morning. I will be helping with the Parking and Pat will help with Registration today but starting tomorrow, we will be working our PressurePro, PowerTank and Dri-Wash businesses all day, everyday.
This Fairgrounds is a BIG place and right now it is BUSY! This is a picture looking back towards the activities center where the Rally will take place. It is presently cram, jam, filled up with folks having a GOURD show. I never had any idea so many people were interested in Gourd's! There is a slight conflict, as their show is not over until today and the Gypsy Journal Rally early registration is also today. Lots of folks love to get to Rallies at least a day early, so I suspect there will be many arrivals that would like to get parked. So we will see what happens. I have volunteered to help with the parking this morning...and it could prove to be a challenge. Things like this are what keep life interesting!
OK, I've got dozens of emails about the kitty. "How's Megabyte2 doing?", everyone is asking. Since this kitty made National News yesterday in Nick Russell's Daily Blog, I guess me keeping it a secret was not very realistic. LOL
I will say it's been an experience! I don't know who's life has changed the most, Mega's or ours. There has been a lot of adjusting and learning for all of us. I'm happy to report that all is well and let me tell you, this Kitty is QUEEN FOR A DAY,,,everyday!! We've made about 10 trips to Walmart and Pet Stores, she is on her 3RD litter box (she's kind of "picky")and we've been hauling food, litter, etc. home. The fact that she is pregnant adds to the anxiety on everyone's part. I have asked her, if she can, would she please wait until we get to North Ranch before she has them! :=) Pat has made at least 4 calls to a Veterinarian in Wickenburg for advice. We're learning! She loves riding in the truck while we're traveling and just sleeps and sleeps...probably resting for the "big day".
I am surprised, as I know most of you are, that we are doing this. I never ever thought it would happen. But maybe it is a blessing in disguise, maybe it's a change we needed. Like my friend Kathy Detweiler said, this is an Angel Kitty!!! I can see Scott smiling now!
Pat surprised Mega2 and I both on the early morning of our 3RD day on the road by snapping this picture. I was doing the Wednesday Blog. I guess you can see that neither of us are too stressed!!!
Even though it started raining during the night last night and the place around here is a muddy mess, this is going to be a GREAT RALLY. Wish you were all here.
See you Wednesday and thanks for stopping by.
It was a GREAT WEEK!!!!
This Blog is published every Sunday and Wednesday.
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
On the Road again!!!
We took a new route and went straight North out of Mission, up to McCook on 681, then on North through Hebbronville and on to Freer where we got on Hwy 44 West and picked up Hwy 83 again North of Laredo. Fairly good Farm roads most of the way........We arrived at Del Rio about 4:00 and after a brief stop at Wally World, we proceeded on west for about 50 miles to our Hill Top rest area. A neat outlook just off the road near Langtry, TX. It has a beautiful view of the Seminole Canyon area where Judge Roy Bean was the law of the land years ago. His Saloon and Museum are close by. This is a popular boondock area for anyone on this route. It is, however, far from civilization and has no Cell signal or Verizon Internet. I was able to get DirectTV on our King Dome and we watched Jack Bauer save the world on our favorite TV program "24". :-)
Just as the sun was setting, we settled into our private hilltop outlook. We had it all to ourselves, then about dark a Pickup camper came in behind us and spent the night. It was an enjoyable quite evening with NO communications with the outer world.........'cept good ole TV!!!
You can click on this picture and enlarge it so you can read more about the area if you wish. It is also an important Railroad area.
We were up and on the road early the next morning at sunup. I sure enjoyed the new battery bank of 8 ACM batteries and the 800 amps storage, along with the new Magnum 2880 watt inverter. They worked like a CHARM!!!!
A few hours later we pulled into the Flying "J" at Anthony, TX just North of El Paso, where we took on 140 gal of diesel fuel at $2.139 a gal. Then we sailed on West 80 miles to the Dream Catcher SKP park at Deming, NM. We have stayed here "umpteen" times before and it's a quick and easy "in and out place" in the outskirts of a small little town that's easy to get around in. My kind of PLACE. So we may stay a couple days and get caught up and relax a bit (ha) before we head on to the Gypsy Journal Rally in Casa Grande, AZ and go to WORK. We have lots of catching up to do, orders to process, etc. It's amazing how much can pile up when you're out of touch for just a couple days!
So far the trip has been great and it's a GREAT WEEK!!!
Take care and stop back Sunday....
This Blog published every Wednesday and Sunday.
Sunday, February 1, 2009
Remembering 1 year ago!!
On Jan 30th, one year ago, my oldest son Mikel and I flew from Tucson, AZ to Omaha, Nebraska for Mikel to donate the stem cells to his younger brother Scott for a Bone Marrow Transplant. I remember it so well. We left Tucson early in the AM,,,,the weather was beautiful and warm. We landed in Denver and had a short layover before we continued on to Omaha. We landed in Omaha around 4pm and the temperature was ZERO!!!!!! What a SUDDEN change.. We both almost froze to death. Mikel's Uncle Larry and Aunt Judi Johnson met us in the baggage area. Fortunately, they had their car right out front and it was running with the heater "Blasting away"!!!
This is how it looked the next day...................Burrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!!! It was COLD!!!
We drove from Omaha to Lincoln to visit Scott and Ann. Mikel hadn't seen him for a year or more and I hadn't seen him for 4 months. As most of you know, Scott was diagnosed with Leukemia on Oct 4TH, 2007 and needed a Bone Marrow transplant. It was discovered that his older brother Mikel was a "perfect" Match. Scott is on the left and Mikel is on the right. Scott has his cat "Megabyte" on his lap....... He was quite sick and had lost 0ver 70 lbs. Of course, as you can see, he had lost all his HAIR from all the Chemo treatments.
So I brought him a HAIR HAT from Arizona. Now he had HAIR!!! We had a ball with it. I felt so sorry for Scott, he felt so lousy, but he did his best to have a good time. He was cheerful and his attitude was good. It sure was GREAT having 2 of my 3 boys together. We had a fun afternoon, but had to get back to Omaha for the Stem Cell Draw from Mikel.
Above is Mikel all hooked up to the special machine that took blood out of one arm, removed the Stem Cells and returned the blood into the other arm. It can take up to 4 hours, but Mikel completed the process in 2.5 hours. We later found out that they had all the Stem Cells they needed and they were a 10 for 10 perfect match for Scott. WONDERFUL,,,great Job Mikel!!!! Oh, we were all so HAPPY to get those results but as most of you know, even with all the good news and the perfect match, Scott lost his battle with cancer in June of last year. That was one of the saddest times of our lives.
This is our LAST DAY in Retama Village in Mission, TX. We are departing tomorrow morning about 8-9am. Should make it about 400 miles to somewhere West of Del Rio on Hwy 90. Plan on boondocking, so Internet connections may be sparse. By Tuesday evening we hope to be at the Dreamcatcher SKP park in Deming, NM.
We will miss all our great friends here at Retama and thanks to everyone for the great "going away" party on Friday afternoon. It's been enjoyable, but I'm looking forward to getting to the Desert and the Mountains. I like it out in the country. North Ranch SKP Park at Congress, AZ is just that. We have thousands of acres of BLM land to roam. We have a Polaris 400 ATV there and our neighbors, Paul and Nancy Wilson, have 4 ATV's. We explore the back country right out our back door all the time....take off riding in the morning and don't get home until late afternoon. Plus, I like to shoot pistols and keep my accuracy current. Ms Pat also enjoys shooting and we can go just a short distance and shoot anytime we wish.
|From Mike & Pats Travels|
Here we are out on one of our adventures enjoying the superb weather and the WIDE OPEN spaces!!! Paul and Nancy know this area extremely well and I love to just RIDE and RIDE... Gee, I can hardly wait...........
Lots more to do to get ready to go, better get busy! See you somewhere down the road. Thanks for stopping by and I'd sure be glad to hear from you.
It's a GREAT WEEK!!!!!!
Remember, tell your kids you love them, they may not be around forever.
This Blog published every Sunday and Wednesday.