Borrego Springs, CA

Thursday, June 30, 2011

All dressed up with no where to go…

Although you should understand that dressing up for me means wearing a top other than a tee shirt, and clean shorts.  Smile  Tentative plans for today were for me to accompany my daughter on a road trip for one of her Life Vest fittings.  We were to drive to Pontiac, IL, and back.  I figured maybe we could stop at a state park or something else interesting on our return trip.  Robyn received a call for a second fitting about an hour away from Pontiac, so that meant it would end up being a really boring ride for me with at least an hour and a half spent sitting in the car while she took care of business, and no chance to take any side trips.  So, I decided not to go.  I had even packed a lunch last night since Robyn is on a very specific diet that rules out stopping out to eat.  Bummer.


Instead, I packed up my lunch and my camera, and Emma and I headed out to visit the last state Fish and Wildlife Area within 50 miles. 

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After checking in at headquarters, we drove to the Sandhill Crane observation tower.  Of course, the chances of seeing cranes was nil, but we took the trail anyway.  Obviously, staff doesn’t check on this handicapped accessible trail except in the spring and fall when the cranes are around.  There were three downed trees crossing the short trail.  Not being in a wheelchair, we made our way through the obstacles.

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The view from the observation area was of a huge field area that the cranes use during migration to glean food and build up their fat supplies.  Two things I neglected to bring with me this trip were bug spray and my watch.  Needless to say, the mosquitoes about ate me alive!  I also gave the deer flies a good run for their money.  I’ve also always worn a watch, so that was a new experience for me.

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This F & W Area is more than 8000 acres, and affords people with a gun range, archery range, hunting, fishing, and wildlife viewing opportunities.

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There used to be a campground and a picnic area, but they have been closed down.  Lack of funds??  So, I headed back to the headquarters area for a rest room, and to eat my lunch in the car.  I was entertained by numerous red-headed woodpeckers in the area.

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After lunch, we drove more of the roads, and on our way to the flooded gravel pits, found this fellow/gal in the middle of the road.  I got out and helped him/her get to the other side so he/she wouldn’t get squished.   Lots of female turtles meet their demise at this time of the year as they try to cross roads to get to prime areas for digging a nest and laying their eggs.  I forgot to look at the bottom side of the caraprice (sp) to see if this was a male or female.

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Lots of wetlands to enjoy here.  It was a good change of plans today, and both Emma and I enjoyed ourselves.


Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A lazy summer day

What a gorgeous weather day it was today.  Low humidity, temps in the upper 70’s, and nothing on the agenda.  So, that’s what I did…virtually nothing.  After Emma and I went on our daily constitutional, I did dump the tanks and weed whacked a little more.  But, that was it.


Oh yeah, I did refill the birdfeeders.  This nuthatch appreciated that.


I’ve been trying to get a good picture of the titmouse family that comes by a couple of times a day.  There are about four young ones following the adults, and screaming away to be fed.  What a noisy bunch they are!  They just won’t hold still for a portrait, however.  Sad smile  So, I had to settle for this rose-breasted grosbeak instead.


I did call Brown & Brown RV for the status of my repair parts, and they said the new awning should be in early next week, but the basement door panel won’t arrive from Winnebago for another two weeks.  I guess it’s a good thing I’m here for the summer or I’d be chomping at the bit to get the repairs done.  I figured it would take at least a month for the panel to arrive.  Once it does, then it will need to be painted.


I spent the afternoon outside beginning the book “North by Northwestern.”  It’s written by Captain Sig Hansen of the Northwestern crab fishing boat.  I’m a fan of the Deadliest Catch show that’s on TV, and thought this would be an interesting read.  So far, so good.  LOREE sent it to me from Oregon.


That’s about it for today from my neck of the woods.  Tomorrow is groceries and laundry… ho hum.


Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy

Monday, June 27, 2011

Electricity gone again!

My friend, Jack, sent me an email this morning asking the name of the campground I stayed in last year in Cody, WY, before heading to Yellowstone.  I don’t remember things like campground names, so I had to check my blog from last year.  I stayed at the Absaroka RV Park.  (Absaroka is Sioux for the Crow Indian Nation)  Once I got started reading that post, I continued on and reread all my posts for my time in and around Yellowstone.  That took up quite a chunk of the day, but I sure enjoyed revisiting my experiences last summer in my mind.  Smile 

Skies were partly cloudy during the afternoon, so Emma and I took a drive to the closest Fish and Wildlife Area.
_MG_2283  The milkweed plants are beginning to come into bloom now.   Did you know that Native Americans used the milky sap from these plants to help remove warts?  I've got one on my finger that I think I'll give it a try on.
And the insects were having a hay day!  I think those may be stink bugs on the left picture.  Don’t know what the bugs are on the right one.
I liked this reflection of the sky amongst all the lily pads.  Several folks were fishing, but I haven’t seen anyone catch anything in my two trips to this area.

After our return, Emma and I spent the late afternoon and early evening outside.  I did a little more weed whacking with the whacker that Robyn has loaned me, and I refilled the hummingbird feeder.  
I also picked some fresh wildflowers for my Wondervase.  I don’t know how the day lilies will do, but I’ll see.  When I came inside to write this post, the electricity went out.  I instantly thought about what happened a couple of weeks ago.  Sad smile  This time, I heard a loud pop just before things went dead.  In a short while I learned that a squirrel had met his demise causing the black out.  I sure don’t think it will effect the population of those rodents around here.  After only 45 minutes, the power was back on.  I’m happy about that.  I wasn’t looking forward to another marathon running of the generator.

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy 

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Pillow update, etc..

The night before last, I gave my newly made pillow a try out.  It became evident that two bags of foam was just too much.  In the middle of the night, I got up and switched back to the old worn out one.  Yesterday, I decided to take out some of the shredded foam.  I forgot to mention that when working with this foam that the best thing to do is work outside.  It’s really messy, and if you do it in your rig, it will look like a snow storm has hit.  Smile  Lucky for me, the pillow protectors only came in twos, so I just transferred some of the foam to the extra protector.  It turns out that Robyn’s foam pillow is also on it’s last leg, so she’ll use my extra foam to make a new one for herself.  Last night’s sleeping was better, but I’m thinking I may just have to take out a little more.  I’ll see how it goes tonight.


I think part of Robyn’s quest to get me to return here next summer was to find a picnic table for me.  The sites here don’t come with tables, and I really like having one.  Well, Robyn’s mother-in-law is a real garage sale type person, and I think Robyn told her to be on the lookout for a picnic table for me.  Yesterday, she found this collapsible table and left it in Robyn’s garage.  This thing all folds up into a suitcase size that is about 4” wide.  When I brought it home yesterday, I unfolded it, and now I have a table.  I believe she paid $5 or less for it, and it will seat 4 adults.  It will get a good test when Pam and Stan come to camp here in about a week and a half.  It should be fine for eating and possible game playing.

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I picked some wildflowers today, and put them in my Wondervase.  This is a great vase for RV travel.  It is made out of some kind of plastic and is flat in the package.  You fill it with hot water, and shape it the way you want it.  Then dump out the hot water, and fill it with cool water, and it retains the shape you’ve made.  After the cool water, it’s no longer pliable.  For travel, you just fill it again with hot water from the tap and flatten it out.  Cool beans, eh?  I had forgotten that I had this with me until I stopped at Robyn’s the other day, and she had hers on the kitchen counter.


Not very exciting stuff today, but that’s the way it goes some days.  More rain is forecast for tomorrow.  Sad smile


Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Brookfield Zoo

Having grown up in Chicago, I’ve been to Brookfield Zoo many times, but I’m afraid I didn’t get a copy of the info we were given upon arriving.  So, I can’t give you any historical information about this huge zoo. 


I can tell you that it is a very popular place for Chicago area families to be on a nice sunny Saturday afternoon!  I can’t even estimate how many thousands of people visited there today.  I have mixed emotions about zoos.  I understand about the educational and conservation value of these facilities, but I have trouble getting past the idea that these animals are no longer free to live a natural life.  Having said that, we did have an enjoyable outing.

62 Pioneer Campground, IN summer, 20119First up, of course, was a visit to see the big giraffes for Avery.  Near by were the zebras, that she also enjoyed. 


This young one was born this month.  Hey ladies, how would you like to deliver a child with horns?  Ouch!  Like mother, like daughter…

IMG_2236Soon, it was time to stop for lunch on a shaded bench.  I know I was hungry, and both Robyn and I know it doesn’t pay to let little ones get too hungry.  Don’t want to have cranky travelers with us.  Smile  Avery hopped off of the bench when she finished eating, and a little chipmunk came out of the woods toward her like he was going to take a bite out of her shoe.  She propelled herself back onto the bench faster than I’ve ever seen her move!  Not all the wildlife is behind moats and bars. 

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Then it was onward to view more animals.  You’ll find no elephants at this zoo right now.  I don’t know all the details, but apparently there were some protests about the elephants’ living conditions.  Due to that protest, they have been removed, and don’t even appear listed on the map of the zoo.


                                                                    “Don’t call me a pig!!” 


Face painting is a very serious experience.  Robyn and Dennis have a two year long pass to Brookfield Zoo, so each trip to the zoo doesn’t have to be an all day experience that wears everybody’s nerves to a frazzle.  After a little over two hours, we headed on the long trek back to the car.  That fact made today a very positive experience for all involved.  No one was pushed beyond their limits, and I’m sure we’ll all return to see the rest of what this zoo has to offer later this summer.


The rain has begun to pitter patter on the roof once again this evening.  I, for one, am getting a little tired of all this moisture.


                                                                             THE END!!


Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy

Friday, June 24, 2011

Picky about my pillow.

There are a few things that I’m very picky about in life.  My pillow for sleeping is one of them.  I can’t use a feather pillow because it always causes my beating heart to pound in my ears if I lay my head on one.  That drives me nuts.  I can use one of those polyester ones in a pinch, like when I stay in a motel, but my all time favorite is a shredded foam rubber pillow.  You can bunch them up so they give you support in just the right places.  Do you know what I mean?  I’ve tried memory foam pillows, and spent $40 on a solid foam pillow a few years back, but they just don’t cut the mustard in my book!

IMG_2195You just can’t find shredded foam pillows anywhere anymore.  So, over ten years ago, I made one for myself.  For the last year or so, I’ve noticed that I really need a new pillow.  My present pillow has just worn down to next to nothing.  Today I finally found some foam at JO-ANN Fabrics and also picked up a zippered pillow protector.  I just stuffed both bags into one of the protectors, and I’m good to go with a new pillow for the next ten years.  Smile  That’s about as artsy/crafty as I get.  Do you have a favorite pillow?


The weather continues to be very dreary around here.  It’s a good thing that the soil is so sandy.  If it weren’t, I’d be thinking about building an ark.

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My row of tiger/day lilies continue to bloom despite the wet weather. 

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Emma and I walked down the road to see some blooming yucca plants this afternoon.


I forgot that it was a Friday, and the weekend folks had begun to arrive.  Normally that is not an issue, but as we approached the plants two very large unleashed dogs came running towards us.  Luckily, their owner pulled up in his golf cart and chased them back to their rig.  One looked like a large pit bull, and the other appeared to be a mastiff type.  I always get a little nervous when that happens.  Thank goodness, Emma sat down and behaved herself although I could see that it took every ounce of her limited restraint to not run after them and pull my arm out of it’s socket.  Confused smile


If the weather improves for tomorrow, I’ll be going with the ‘girls’ to visit Brookfield Zoo.  Zoos are a bittersweet experience for me, but Avery has been wanting to see some giraffes…


Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

I got sent to the Principal’s Office! :(

Today was my big adventure of traveling back in time to the “hood”.  (that’s my old neighborhood for you older readers Hot smile)   Robyn volunteered to drive as we made our way to the northwest side of Chicago to meet my sister.

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Since we were traveling from Indiana, that meant we had to go past the new White Sox stadium (it’s no longer Komiski Park)…and then skirting around the ‘Loop’ with Big John in the distance. (I also don’t think it is called the John Hancock Building any more)  

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We had agreed to meet at the intersection of Austin and Irving.  I got out of the car to take a few pics of my old stomping grounds.  Top left is the old Irving State Bank that is no longer in business.  Top right: I found the old Ackerman’s Bakery building, but it is now a formal dress shop.  Bummer.  Bottom right: the Patio Theater is still there and showing movies.  As a kid, I went there every Saturday for a double feature with cartoons for 25 cents.  Bottom left: that’s now a restaurant.  When I was a very young child, my grandmother and I used to walk to this building so she could get her medicine. (I later figured out it was a liquor store, and her medicine was a pint of whiskey!)

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Then it was on to see the house I grew up in.  It and the streets sure seemed a lot smaller than I remembered them being when I lived there.  Boy, the houses sure seem awful close together.  The house actually looked a lot better on the outside than when we lived there.

IMG_2185As we went on to visit my high school, we drove past Ole Anthony Thorp Elementary School.  Back in the day, this was the boys playground, and the other side of the school was the girl’s playground.  We were always separated before school and during recess.  Robyn found that very odd. 

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When we made it to Charles P. Steinmetz High School, I couldn’t get a shot that took in the whole school, and I’m too tired tonight to figure out how to do one of those panoramic things.  I’ll just say it is a very big school.  When I attended, there were over 3000 students in attendance.

IMG_2190When we went inside, we were confronted by a security guard and metal detectors similar to what you find at airports these days.  Things have certainly changed over the years.  I explained that I was a graduate from January of 1965, and just wanted to look around.  That’s when I was sent to the Principal’s Office!  It’s been a long time since that has happened to me.  Smile  I must admit though, that I knew just where it was!  It turned out that it was the first day of summer school, and no one was available to accompany us around.  In this day and age, you just can’t wander around alone.  The office manager did attempt to escort us outside, but once we found out that she went to the same high school as my sister, Pam, she was quite chatty and let us see the auditorium and a few other things.


She even let us use the faculty ladies room where we found this old time foot operated hand dryer.  Some things change, other things remain the same…


All in all, it was a great blast from the past for me.  I can’t get over the mass of humanity in such a large city.  It seemed normal to me when I was growing up, but now it just seems overwhelming! 


Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy