Saturday, December 4, 2010

Back In Benson, Briefly

We don’t call our RV lot at Cochise Terrace RV Resort “Home,” although we may consider it that way someday in the future. Still, it’s a place to park in the winter and we don’t have to pay rent, stay a limited time or checkout by a certain hour. And we’re starting to put down roots. We know most of our neighbors, and many of them heard about Don’s accident in July and were looking forward to seeing us again.


We had a few surprises upon our return. This Century Plant, or agave, which is actually a succulent rather than a cactus, grew a huge stalk while we were away! This means that the plant will soon die, as its 30+ year life (not really a century) comes to an end after the stalk and blooms are sprouted. The stalk grows very quickly, about 2 1/2 inches per day, up to 5-15 feet. This one looks like it’s reaching or maybe even exceeding that upper height!


Although I hate to lose the plant, it’s crowded between two prickly pear cacti, so I guess it’s time for it to go. Several other plants have obviously grown a lot in our absence, including this one that’s got a limited life, as well.


No, it’s not going to die on its own. It’s going to be forcibly removed! I think it’s a variety of prickly pear cactus, but it has tiny fuzz-like needles that brush off with only a slight touch, attach themselves to clothing and skin, and are very hard to remove. The plant has grown so large it’s hard to avoid walking near it, and we just don’t want it around anymore. So, a local handyman will be hired to do the deed soon.

The donkey-ear cactus also grew larger during our absence.


The little guys below were left for dead by deer munching on the plant above. Since this cactus doesn’t have any needles, it’s attractive to thirsty/hungry animals. I stuck the ears in the ground on either side of the flagpole, then rabbits almost finalized the death sentence last year. It was a pleasant surprise to see them thriving, putting out new ‘ears’ and growing larger in spite of their enemies!


Our RV lot is a comfortable place, with almost no upkeep. Our next-door neighbor stays here during the summer, and he very kindly keeps most of the big weeds under control on our lot so we don’t have to pay to have that job done. We try to bring him a nice gift as a thank-you – this time it was a Harley T-shirt from Cajun Country. Dutch is a 70-something Harley rider whose wife succumbed to cancer about 1 1/2 years ago, and now he’s working on finding a new wife.

We finished several large projects on our lot and shed during the past two winters, so now all we need to do is a little cleaning and rearranging, then sit back and enjoy it. So, enjoy it we will, but only for a short time. On our agenda are the following travels:

  • New Year’s Eve at the Escapees North Ranch in Congress, AZ
  • Arrive early for SKP Chapter 21 Winter Rally Jan 7-11 in Parker, AZ as we’re hosting the event and will have a few set-up tasks to do in advance
  • Bluegrass Festival in Blythe, CA Jan 14-16
  • SKP Happy Hour in Quartzsite, AZ Jan 19-20
  • Serve as Volunteer Club Representatives (VCRs) at SKP SOLOs Annual Rally in Quartzsite, AZ Jan 20-27
  • Drive to Beaverton, OR for Don’s niece Caren’s wedding Feb 12 (why not in April or May?)
  • Find a relatively warm place in the PNW to hang out for about 2 1/2 months (less $$ and wear and tear than returning to AZ)
  • Meet up with Dennis & Carol Hill and others in WA for a summer trip to Alaska, sometime in May
  • Tour Alaska, going through Canada of course, Summer 2011
  • Attend Escapade in Gillette, WY Aug 28 – Sept 2, 2011
  • Visit Hart Ranch and do annual doctor visits, Sept 2011
  • Return to Benson and maybe stay awhile, Oct 2011 - ?

Hopefully, next winter we’ll let the wheels rest longer and get re-acquainted with the neighbors and just enjoy our lot!


Love those southwest sunsets! And I love the flowers my Sweetie keeps me supplied with!


Sunday, November 28, 2010

Needle Crafts and Westward Travels

I enjoy knitting and crocheting, and can do either one and (mostly) still participate in conversations, watch TV, listen to speakers at meetings, or watch scenery while riding down the road. So, there are lots of hours in which to create items. The trouble with this amount of production is that there’s a limit to what you can use/store in an RV. Therefore, I enjoy making things for other people. My latest two projects fall into this category.

A colorful crocheted lapghan was the first one, finished in time for Veterans Day and sent to the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center in Houston, TX. This was my most recent contribution to Soldiers' Angels through their Blankets of Gratitude program, which gives a little cheer to veterans recovering from wounds in VA hospitals in the U.S.


The next project was suggested by another member of the Escapees RV Club. It could be called a prayer shawl or a shrug, or whatever you want to call it!. It’s intended for someone at the Escapees CARE Center, an adult day-care facility in Livingston, TX. This unique center, located next to the Escapees, Inc. international headquarters, allows Escapees with injuries or illnesses to recover while living in their RVs. I knitted this item, and crocheted around the edges. I hope it will keep someone’s shoulders and neck warm while they’re recuperating.


Both projects were fun to do, and now it’s time to start on a new one!

Don and I have really enjoyed being with many of our RV friends during the past several weeks, but now we’re ready to travel westward by ourselves for the next 4-5 days. We look forward to being back on our RV lot in Benson, AZ and to seeing our neighbors and friends there.

To see more about our fun times during the past almost two weeks, go to Dennis and Carol’s blog. Start with November 19 entitled “Air, Empty, Toilet, Mexican, Gumbo, Friends.” We’re among the friends in this blog post, and we appear in several others after that date. Dennis and Carol are good friends who stood up for us when we got married. We always enjoy our times with them and look forward to seeing them in Quartzsite in January.