Sunday, February 26, 2012

More From February

With most of the heavy lifting accomplished, we set about fine tuning our little lot here at Desert Gold RV. The balloon spinner, my souvenir from the Havasu Festival a few weeks back found a place hanging from the new shade structure. Our new grill, a Christmas present from my mother, was finally placed into service with some choice cuts and produce which turned out perfectly. The fire pit conversion to gas was completed and we make a slat box to hide the propane tank from sight. Some crystal specimens from a neighbor and a steer's head and a bison skull were artistically placed in the cactus garden. We found a place for the new metal sculpture cactus and fixed it to the ground and did some light "scaping" around the base of it. We filled the hummingbird feeders for the first time- there are some hummers around now but so far they are hitting the neighbors longer standing offerings and not ours; however, the bees are downright happy! We did some Saguaro rib hunting with Tom and Michelle next door and came back with a trophy size plant skeleton that we will be shaping into a planter for the front of the lot in the coming weeks or so; right now I am drying some of my herbs on it during the heat of the day. I made a "rib" face for the planter table- the greens are happy and growing really well now. And this morning we "FLAMINGO-ED" Tom and Michelle's already whimsical garden just for the sheer sport (and tremendous fun) of doing that. The other neighbors have all been sworn to secrecy- although our license plate does say Florida! Oh, and the Met Life dirigible flew over camp this week, so I snapped a picture of that as well as it passed over a nearby saguaro cactus.

The slide show will give you a peek at all of this!

Monday, February 20, 2012

This and That in Pictures

Here's the latest picture story of what's happening in the desert!

Here's the current status of the greens we're growing in the all new stand up-don't bend over garden we built. Salad soon! The eerie light is from the shade cloth- the use of which is about the only way you can get such crops to grow in this area. Further south, near Yuma, huge fields of the same crops do very well.

Ever wonder who stood on a tiny ladder all day and trimmed up those orchard trees so nice and neat? No one. This tractor/tool does the job in a jiffy, although on the day we spotted this guy trimming pistachio trees his engine was having a bit of an overworked feeling.

The chili cook-off in Salome caught a break in the weather this year. It rained the last two years in a row. Do you have any idea how bad your luck is if your special day gets rained on two years running in the desert?

Tex-Alaskan Wayne helps Lynn and Jude at the Chili craft venue by doing panning demos just outside the building. He had a constant stream of interested parties. Gold is all the rage!

The local dance team warms up before their performance.

The look of protest appears on Marilyn's face whenever she catches me trying to take her picture without make-up. Ha! Here she works on my "art find" which will appear again a bit later in this post....

Lots of people bring their families to Arizona for a winter vacation. So as not to be accused of slandering any families from any state- I took a picture of the license plate on this mini station wagon.

Inside (well partially inside) was a donkey who thought he was a big dog apparently. Either that or this family has really funny looking kids. Just saying! Now what could be funnier than that???

Well.....look at his brother who somewhat resembles a BULL! I'm sure they are a very nice family though.

A stand of the parasite "mistletoe" grows on the desert scrub brush.

It's very pretty in its winter reddish color....

Back at the new shade structure, we hung my art find up on the shed wall. It was a rusty old table top made of cast iron that I found on a neighbor's scrap heap. Re-worked a bit, it turns out to be one of the coolest Arizona emblem designs I have ever come across. We cut it down, made new brackets for it, sealed it against further rust and gave it a new purpose in life. My version of recycling!

Here it is again....

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Geek Qualified!

Yesterday I drove two hours (each way) to Yuma and then stood in line at the Geek Squad counter at Best Buy for an hour and a half to get them to look at my webcam on the Vaio. After a few minutes of trying to get the cam to "kick in" they decided it was a hardware failure of the camera itself and could not be fixed. That was pretty easy for me to believe because I spent hours and hours this week trying to get that little booger to work myself to no avail. So to cut my losses, I purchased a remote webcam to bring home and install so I could "git 'er done." And though we got home after 9PM after a long day indeed, I decided to take one last shot at getting the cam to work on my own. I had seen that although the screen was black when I activated the cam, the power signal to it was activated an! And I could make out the ghost image of the store's bright ceiling lights while it was being diagnosed- so there had to be something working in there!

Sure enough, the control panel feature regarding low light accommodation was checked (and assumed to be functioning) but I turned it off then back on again and "presto chango", the webcam was back in business. The geek had been wrong. I had been right. And so now I have earned the right to wear my Geek Squad T-shirt that I was given by them when they set up my first computer oh so many years ago. So next time you wanna try to Skype me- do it to it, and we'll see if it keeps on working. If not I now have a Gundy-redundancy webcam to install at my leisure, because for sure I am not driving 4 hours again any time soon to return a 29$ webcam.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

In The Cool Cool Shade

Even in the winter, in the desert, the sun gets hot during the day! At night? Not so much- then even the spring and summer nights cool off considerably. But for a body....and more importantly for this discussion, vegetables need to "keep their cool." And that, dear friends, requires some shade of one form or another. And since we have no trees of any size yet, and since the shed has no porch roof overhang, we went off in search of some "cool" for ourselves and our lettuce and other veggies we hope to grow while having an extended stay here. It has been a labor of love- but a labor none-the-less. I suppose it is always like that. But what can you do? And in this case what we COULD do, was landscape another couple lots at the same time as we were doing our construction projects. Muscles....old muscles in particular, only have so much "do" in them and then they either get sore, cramp up, or go to sleep. Maybe all three! But if pushing it keeps us young, then we are just a couple of kids having a good time- and that's the way we like it!

When the light fades into the night...and if there is any energy left at all, we sit outside until the chill drives us in. Next door neighbors Tom and Michelle have a nice fire pit (gas) that throws some nice heat and we sometimes do "dogs" or marshmallows on the flames. We have a small on as well, but that is not yet set up. Soon.

Back to the shade structure. We built my design on the ground in stages and when all the components were ready we enlisted the neighbors and friends to help us hoist them into position. It could not have gone better. Parts were accurate to the 1/16 of an inch. Not bad for an overall 12 x 16 foot structure eight feet off the ground. We even amazed ourselves with that one! And because the planning was good, the application was relatively simple and effortless. It went well. Whew!

So now we have a place to hide from heat when it shows up. And the veggies have refuse both from the sun and the rabbits. Now if I can just keep Michelle next door from "grazing" the lettuce- life will be good!

Here's a look at how things stand now. Finishing touches yet to come....