Category Archives: Life

Fun drive to town and new laptop

Snowy Virgin River Canyon Zion National Park Utah

Who would have thought a drive to town would be so cool.  Literally, it was cold, snowy, and spectacular driving through Zion National Park Sunday.

It was also cool that I was able to trade in two old laptops for a $200 credit towards the new ASUS laptop I bought.  Windows 10 seems OK so far.  Sure beats the pants off 8.  But does involve a learning curve coming from 7.  I think it will work.  Besides what choice is there.

Snow on Vermilion Cliffs SR89 Utah

Then it was off to Home Depot to return the heat tape I can’t use on a sewer pipe that freezes.  Then Costco to return a shirt that was too small for Bill and groceries before the hour drive home.  Which was gorgeous with snow dusting the Vermilion Cliffs.

Was up late downloading Windows Office and Live software along with Picasa.  Takes a lot of time to set up a new computer the way you want it.

Spent all day Monday fighting with the internet.  Part of the problem is a very weak signal.  My phone’s hotspot, FoxFi, was acting up and the RV park’s signal was hovering at 1-2 bars.  Still need to download Lightroom on the new laptop and may have to take it to Bill’s where there’s a reliable signal.

Today I talked to the Geek Squad and they had me disable a couple of network drivers, restart, and re-enable those same drivers and that solved the problem connecting to the internet.  I was told if the problem persists the laptop will have to go to the store to replace the internal antenna.  I hope not because I’m headed out of town Friday.

But it’s my favorite….

You know how you have some special piece of clothing that is your All Time Favorite.  Wear it all the time.  And it’s beyond wearing out.  It’s worn out.  But you still can’t part with it.

Heck, most of my clothes come from thrift stores, so they’re wearing out when I buy them.

Yet I rather like putting on soft worn clothes and thinking about who owned it before me.  Always have to wash the thrift store smell out first though.

My absolutely, positively favorite shirt that I threw on every morning for years somehow got left behind in my Chicago hotel room back in September.  I’ve been scouring around for a replacement ever since.

Denim shirt

Today was my lucky day.  At one of my favorite thrift stores, Yavapai Human Society, and clothes were marked half off. OK, you’re thinking, what made this so difficult to find.  Yea, yea.  It’s only a denim shirt, over-sized, soft and has snaps.  But it’s my new old favorite!

Have an old favorite that you just can’t throw away?

OWT-Mountains all around with valleys in between

01 Amanda's dog Joan of Bark Chino AZ

Joan of Bark

Had a long day in town.  I know many of you typically have a long day, somewhere.  Guess I’ve gotten out of the habit after two months retired and lazy.  Went to the dentist, twice.  And in between enjoyed a visit with a new/old friend, and her chickens, horses and dogs.  She made the remark that Arizona has mountains all around.  And some people think this is a desert.  Harumph.

02 Golden glow on hillside Iron Springs Rd AZ (1024x420)

Then, there was the scenic hour drive home over the Bradshaw Mountains and across Skull Valley.

03 Antelope Peak above Yarnell AZ (1024x457)

In the fading light I could see the flat-top mountain called Antelope Peak above Yarnell in the distance.

04 Horses, cows & burrow along SR89 Peeples Valley AZ (1024x678)

And as the sun set behind the Weaver Mountains I just had to pull over.

05 Horses & burro along SR89 Peeples Valley AZ (1024x482)

Because what could be more beautiful than this.

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OWT-Return to winter white

01 Snowing Yarnell AZ (1024x678)

Sure glad I went out for propane the day before it snowed.

02 Sparrow & cardinal Yarnell AZ (1024x992)

Also glad I filled the bird feeders which were very busy during the snow.

03 Snowy window view Yarnell AZ (1024x678)

Yet unlike yesterday, this last morning of the year the sky is mostly blue with sun shining through.

04 Snow view of Weaver Mts Yarnell AZ (1024x678)

Slowly melting some of the snow away.

05 Sunset Yarnell AZ (1024x678)

I’m glad for that and already ready to greet summer.

06 Coopers Hawk Yarnell AZ (1024x678)

Coopers Hawk

And in only 33 days I shall enjoy summer again, just on a different continent.

07 Ringed Turtle Dove Yarnell AZ (1024x669)

Ringed Turtle Dove

So on this last day of 2012 I wish you all the best for the new year.


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Getting out of the house

01 Weaver Mts Peeples Valley AZ (1024x545)

Weaver Mts Peeples Valley, Arizona

I managed to roust myself out of the semi-warm RV Saturday.  I know I’m whining, it’s not as cold here in central Arizona with 47 highs and 27 lows as other places.  Just seems the older I get, the less I tolerate the cold.

02 Propane tank at Mountainaire Peeples Valley AZ (736x1024)

Didn’t have a whole lot of choice but to go out when one propane tank is empty and the other is going on two weeks.  That may not make a whole lot of sense to non-RVers.  I don’t turn on the propane furnace very often, maybe just a little in the morning and right before bed.  If used all day that thing can suck down 7 gallons of propane in two days.  I learned.  I do run small electric heaters most of the day and night.  Can only run two things at once on the 30amps currently plugged into.  Turn one off in the living area to either use the microwave or turn on the heater in the bedroom.  I keep the door closed to the bedroom all day as there’s just no sense in heating a room that isn’t being used.  OK, so the toilet seat feels a mite chilly.  Just make it fast.

03 Mural at Mountainaire Peeples Valley AZ (1024x768)

Peeples Valley, where I get propane, is only about five miles away.  Business wise smaller than Yarnell which sadly no longer has a fuel station.  Mountainaire Mini-Mart offers about the same grocery options as our Yarnell Grocery and that almost closed about a year ago.  Times are hard in our small community of less than 2000.

04 Weaver Mts SR 89 S Peeples Valley AZ (1024x456)

Heading home to Yarnell on SR89 south

It’s a short and scenic drive out here in the middle of nowhere.  Maybe now that I have my wheels back I’ll try to get out more.  Naw, it’s cold outside.

Still no lemonade

Yet another trip to the dentist today.  Been over a year now and I am so ready to have this done, over, fini.  The process of having implants to hold permanent dentures has been a trial yet I’m actually to the point of being able to eat pistachios, carefully and one at a time.  Another few weeks and everything should be permanently in place.  I’m rather excited about being able to bite and chew again.

01 Iron Springs Road AZ (1024x434)

About an hour drive north over the Bradshaw Mountains to Prescott

Borrowed Berta’s car to get to Prescott because my truck is still in the shop.  This lemon story gets juicier all the time.  Back to injectors being bad and this after replacing all eight of them only 14 months ago and just over 12,000 miles.  Direct Buy Warranty sent an inspector to the Ford dealer ICU.  The diagnosis, much like my shoulder, is normal ware for mileage and not covered by the warranty.  Thank goodness I’m not a Ford.  I’ve loved my Ford trucks for decades, even arguing in their defense.  No more!

I fired the warranty company and will see how long it takes to get my pro-rated refund. I would highly discourage anyone from buying after market vehicle warranty from this company that I don’t want to link to.

02 Truck going on tow truck NR GRCA NP AZ (1024x706)

Towed from the North Rim last summer

The story continues with Ford replacing the three bad injectors and once started a fourth one blows.  Now the Utah mechanic that replaced the last injectors is involved.  So the plot thickens and the outcome unknown.

03 Gaelyn holds the world Yarnell AZ (1024x678)

In the meantime, I had fun playing with the camera, tripod and remote.

When friends gather

01 766 Flowers & stuff at Berta's Yarnell AZ (1024x768)

Sometimes the best family to spend holidays with is your chosen family of friends.

02 770 Berta & Jim Christmas Yarnell AZ (1023x1024)

Berta and Jim

Berta, a restaurant owner and cook in a past life, put together one of those best of Sundays family meal of pot roast with carrots, potatoes, onions, and garlic with side dishes and a fruit torte for desert.

03 787 Donna Christmas at Berta's Yarnell AZ (838x1024)


When I walked into her house the aroma instantly caused me to drool.  No photos it was too yummy to stop for the camera.

04 792 Berta & Jim with pink flamingos Christmas Yarnell AZ (1024x1013)

Donna brought a re-gift for Berta and we couldn’t stop laughing while Jim tried to help put the wire legs on these flamingos.

05 761 Berta's cat Sara Yarnell AZ (1024x724)

Just the four of us, plus Sara, sharing a meal and loving friendship.  For me, that’s what Christmas is all about.  Sharing and love.

06 793 Flamingo center piece for Christmas at Berta's Yarnell AZ (1024x768)

And laughter.

A sad country

We are saddened by the loss of life, children being mowed down senselessly.  Yet we can not blame the gun.  Nor can we blame the deluded young man who fired it.  We in the US are a society that condones death.  Someone/country believes different than we do so we go to war, where every action is seen as fair.  This seems to make it OK to kill and maim strangers with a justification that we are right.  The news is full of death.  Regular TV full of violence.  All condoned.  So that our children accept this unreal reality.  We are at war with ourselves.  Can we learn compassion instead?

In the meantime

01 Sunset Yarnell AZ (1024x678)

Welcome to my new blog, Geogypsy in the mean time.  I actually started blogging over four years ago and immediately discovered new friends from around the world.  Hopefully some of you will continue to follow me here.

Why a second blog?  Well, geogypsytraveler was created to share stories of my travels.  But unfortunately I haven’t been traveling since my seasonal job as a Park Ranger ended in mid-October.  Instead I’ve been focusing on the plans for my upcoming trip to South Africa, being lazy about writing an eBook and searching for a new vehicle.  So why not throw one more thing in the mix like starting a new blog where I can share what’s going on in the meantime.  This is totally a work in progress, just like I am.

02 Northern Cardinal Yarnell AZ (1024x678)

Northern Cardinal

And right now, my meantime involves siting at the computer a lot where I can also watch the birds.  Seems the only thing I’ve photographed lately is the birds and sunsets through my windows.  These shots were taken using the newest lens, 55-300mm, which I am happy with, so far.  Always want bigger, smaller, whatever, that I can’t afford and am certainly not strong enough to carry anyway.

03 Coopers Hawk Yarnell AZ (1024x826)

Coopers Hawk hung out over 30 minutes

My fingers went numb holding the camera while I took photo after photo waiting to catch it in flight. I gave up, about five minuets before it took off empty taloned. It will be back I’m sure.

04 Coopers Hawk Yarnell AZ (1024x879)

Unfortunately I’ve been feeling a little trapped, like a bird under cover.  Long time readers of my other blog will know the truck I own is a piece of sh.. may be a lemon.  It is once again in need of major repairs and I will not dump any more money into it.  It hasn’t moved in almost a month, and neither have I.  Well, not quite true.  I go shopping once a week with Berta in her car.  I guess I’m getting more done by staying home anyway.

05 Coopers Hawk Yarnell AZ (1024x738)

In the meantime…