Nikon D3100

The new camera has arrived so the experiments shall begin. Case in point - BlackJack.


Food Prices Vs. Quantity

We've all noticed the packaging of food items and even non food items have shrunk, while the prices continue to rise, right? Or in the case of these Chips Ahoy cookies, the size got smaller, price stayed the same. Either way, it's costing you and I, the consumers, more money at the checkout.
They, you know, the companies that make, package and distribute the food believe they have outsmarted and outwitted us by making the product smaller in size. A clever marketing technique to boost their own profits while raping us.
Of course, there's not a darn thing we can do about it, but I thought it'd be interesting to see just how much a decrease in size and increase in price I will see in the products I use. I am going to keep track of a few items and will start with these cookies.

Chips Ahoy Chewy - 19.5 oz. $1.98 (wal-mart)purchased one week ago.
Chips Ahoy Heath - 14.5 oz. $1.98 (wal-mart)purchased today.

It doesn't matter that the two are not exactly the same type of cookie, what matters is the size and price.
We'll be watching and posting various products here.

Sophie Kinsella and I

My days have been spent lounging around in the motorhome and lounging out in the sun relaxing with a good book. I believe I'm on my fourth book since we arrived here, but rule #1 is 'only read when the sun is shining so you can work on the tan at the same time.' - My tan is coming along nicely, and the Sophie Kinsella books have been so fun. Her books are funny, lighthearted and easy to identify with. No huge brainpower is required to read them, which I love. I just want to be swept into someone else's life for a few hours of entertainment.

Sound like a boring life? I suppose it could be boring if you're used to running all the time between work, errands and grocery shopping. As for me, I am not bored in the least and quite frankly, I find myself feeling the most relaxed when we are sitting in one place in between jobs.


Every day is Saturday

Mintner Gardens, British Columbia. We took this picture in 2007 on our trip to Alaska.
We're going on 5 years of fulltiming, and when we aren't workamping and are able to enjoy every day as a Saturday, this lifestyle can't be beat. A typical day can go like this:

There is no alarm to set when retiring for the evening.
You can wake up the following morning at any time...after 8:00 a.m. of course.
Your morning coffee can be enjoyed with your puppy curled up next to you....and if it takes two hours to finish that coffee, no problem. The puppy won't budge until you do, guaranteed.
If it's sunny and gorgeous outside, you can pull out your chair, grab a book and relax in the sun for a couple hours.
A little on the gray side, or wind at 30 mph....no problem. Just make yourself another pot of coffee and retreat for the day.
Got housework, laundry or errands to take care of? You've got today, tomorrow and the next 5 days to get it all done before the week runs out.

You can do as much or as little as you feel like. No pressure and no deadlines.
Because we know we'll be workamping again this summer, we take our days off very seriously and work extra hard to not over do.


Jack Got Nailed

It all began with Jack constantly licking his front paws. We started calling him the dog with OCLD 'Obsessive compulsive licking disorder'. As it turned out, he had a broken nail, so we was licking it. The vet removed the nail, bandaged him up, and sent us home with pain killers and antibiotics. - What an expensive visit to the vet as you can see from the bill below.


Out And About in McAllen

After being cooped up for a few days, it was time to get up and get out. We grabbed the dog and piled into the Jeep.
We were looking for a used book store and stumbled upon Feldman's. A market with spirits, wine, cigars and organic food. The place was recommended by someone on a forum, so we recognized it right away.
Awesome store. They've got an entire room where they keep the wine, so we spent some time checking out labels. We picked out 3 bottles, two Merlot and one Pinot Noir.

Off to look for the bookstore, which we did find accidentally. They had moved, but our GPS hadn't gotten the memo apparently. Hey, it happens. ---I found 3 books to buy, so we were on our way again. This time to the gas station. -- $31 for the wine, $11 for the books, $41 for gas.....shoot. By the time we pick up the pizza we had ordered via cell phone, it's going to be another banner $100 day. Ouch.


Okay, it is 69 degrees Today. Finally.

This picture represents exactly how the view from my window has looked for literally the past 5 days. Until today, that is. Finally, the clouds have broke and the sun is coming through. It's good to see, because the gray and dreariness gets to a person after awhile.
We have honestly not done a darn thing. Oh, wait. That's not entirely true. Two days ago we went to Applebee's for lunch and Wal-Mart to pick up a prescription....and PetSmart as a special treat for Jack. He loves going into Pet Smart!
We did try to order a pizza for delivery the other night only to learn that the Pizza Hut located not even one mile from us does not deliver! The next one we tried informed us we are out of their delivery area. Needless to say, we did not have pizza for dinner. Oh well.
It is interesting around here though. When it's drizzling and a bit colder, people here retreat to the indoors. I swear those with dogs don't even take their dogs out. As Jack and I were out walking it looked and felt like a dead zone, which is why by today, I am thrilled to see the sunshine and people out and about.


Definitely not 70 Degrees Today

Oh boy. This cold front that arrived 3 days ago is still here. It is cloudy, it is dreary, it is windy and it is most definitely cold. I am seriously hoping for it to move on out. And soon.

We have not gone anywhere for 3 days and in less than 400 square feet it gets rather boring, rather quick. There is only so much surfing the net or surfing the channels one person can do. As for walking the dog to get outside.....yup. That'll get you out....and you'll freeze your behind off in the process. That wind is brutal.

For some reason, around mid morning, we discovered we have no water. It's not a problem in the motor home, it is an issue with public water. Either a line broke or they turned the water off for repairs and failed to notify us. Regardless, I had just turned on the washing machine, and had not yet done the dishes, so am glad we always keep our tank full.


Don-Wes Flea Market

On Sunday, we decided to take a drive to the largest flea market in the Rio Grande Valley, the Don-Wes Flea Market. - We loaded the dog and ourselves into the Jeep and off we went, over 25 miles along Hwy. 83 to Donna, Texas. - As most things go, there were billboards along the way advertising the flea market, but as we arrived to the location, no signs, no billboards, no flea market visible from the highway. But, hey, we are armed with our brand new GPS unit and a keen sense of direction, so we'll just turn around and follow our nose. ---Eventually, we found the place, a grassy field as a parking lot and vehicles with license plates from MN, MI, and IA. We knew we were in the right place.
We spent a little over an hour wandering around the booths. If a person were in the market for a little junk, something old and dusty, or rusty tools, then the Don-West flea market is your kind of place! Unfortunately, it is not our kind of place. Oh well. It got us out and about, and we had two offers to take BlackJack off our hands. But, he was being a good boy that day, so we've still got him.


Mission, Texas

I believe we have spent every winter since we began fulltiming in Arizona. This year we decided it was time to check out TEXAS. We started in Corpus Christi, right before Christmas. Even though we were only there 3 days, there's something about that area that I definitely prefer over Mission. Maybe it's the beach...maybe it's the tropical feel in the air....I'm not sure. Nonetheless, we arrived in Mission, found an RV lot, paid for 5 weeks, so here we are. The lot is nice as you can see from the picture below and the community of people are very pleasant. I'm not complaining about the weather either, because temperatures have been ideal.

Downside to Mission, thus far, in my opinion, are....It's quite trashy for starters. Lots of trash alongside the highways and side streets. Even the Wal-mart parking lot and store is trashy. Every day, the aroma of burning garbage is in the air, which so reminds me of Mexico...
As I compare Mission to Yuma.... Yuma does not have trash littering every corner, nor does Yuma allow burning of garbage throughout neighborhoods. The Wal-marts and grocery stores in Yuma also do not reflect the trashiness that you see here. Quite frankly, I don't feel all that comfortable driving around alone here. But, moving on. There are no casinos, no wonderful marketplace to wander about on the weekends and no 'safe' mexican town to travel to on a Thursday afternoon.
Okay, to their credit, I will give them this. Mission, and the surrounding towns, do have Olive Garden, Red Lobster and Texas Roadhouse restaurants. WAIT a minute!!! Oh man, YUMA has those places, too!!! AHH-HAA. Yuma also has IN 'N OUT BURGERS (our personal favorite)...Mission has What-A-Burger...been there, done that. Not impressed.
Anyhoo, we are here, so I intend on catching up on some long forgotten books and working on my tan while enjoying a margarita (after 3:00 pm).
P.S. - I miss Yuma.


The Fox in the Campground

I know...not supposed to feed the animals, but these
guys obviously felt otherwise

that fox ate right of Tim's hand

not at all afraid

A bit thin, we wondered if she had babies she was feeding

This female fox would wander into the campground on a daily basis with no fear of humans whatsoever. Probably because many were feeding her...something we all know is a big 'no-no'.
I took these pictures from our motorhome, so you see how close she was.

Going Back To last Summer

The Fly Sisters visited the campground we were working at last summer, so we got to snap some pictures of their vintage trailers. There must have been 8-10 of them there, each trailer painted different yet representing the owner's individual style.
The Fly Sisters are a group of women traveling without men in their campers. Pretty cool!


USS Lexington

The USS Lexington in Corpus Christi, Texas was an amazing site to see. This ship is incredibly huge, as I'm sure all Navy ships are, but I've never been in one before, so we were taken by it's size. The history of the ship and its crew was interesting.
The other thing we did while in Corpus Christi was to drive along the beach of Padre Island. I don't know why we didn't take pictures, because I brought the camera along that day. You can drive 60 miles right on the beach...we drove only 20 right along the water's edge. Jack loved running in the sand while we walked looking for sand dollars. The weather was partly cloudy, but when the sun poked its head through the clouds, it was wonderful.


2010 Recap

Where to begin?

From Jan. to April of last year, we were hanging out in Yuma, Arizona with our good friends. We love Yuma because the weather is beautiful, very little rain, and lots of off roading places to take the Jeep. But, as summer approached, we knew a summer job was in our future. So, we brushed off our workamper resume, and shot off copies to several places. We actually had several offers for employment, lucky us! We decided on West Yellowstone for the sole reason of........it paid the best!! - Not always the right reason for accepting a job, I know, but it was our reason and we did in fact make the drive to West Yellowstone in May...in the snow. Ugh.

May-Sept - Montana. The job was fun at times, frustrating at others, but all in all a pretty good summer! From Montana, we were heading to our next workamper assignment in Kansas at Amazon.com. A couple detours first though.
Colorado - parents. --- I always enjoy seeing Mom and Dad. What is it about parents that is comforting? Anyway, we spent 4 days with them, had a great time as we traveled from one restaurant to another...you know, lunch out, a bit of driving, and voila'...dinner time...where to eat?? Seriously, it was fun and I always leave them with some new memories tucked away. Ahhh...that's what it is about parents and family! Memories!
Okay. Colorado to Michigan, speaking of family. The long 1200 mile drive to upper Michigan to visit the brother in law. It is always good to see him, as he inspires me with his optimism. If only more people could be as easy going. So, we had good visits with him, and his girlfriend. ---Now, it's off to Kansas, and by this time it is mid October.
Coffeyville - home of Amazon.com and our home for the next 10 weeks.
Fast forward to right before Christmas. Amazon.com was some tough work, the weather was frigid, the RV park was, hmmm....nothing to write home about. Glad to be driving out of there in all honesty.
This winter we'd like to experience the Rio Grande Valley, so head towards Texas. First stop, Lewisville, because that's where our friends are at for a few days.
We had a great time there with them. Lots of shopping, amazing warm weather and fun times all around!
They headed east, we headed south from Lewisville. We are sitting in Mission and will be here until the end of January. More on Mission later. But, that's 2010 in a nutshell. I've got pictures that I will put up later.