Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Here's the Skinny...

I don't think I have many readers of this blog, because I don't post pictures that often.  When I do they're pretty crumby.  Once again I'm giving you a post sans pictures.  Cest la vie.

We got many repairs on our ten year old SUV since last update.  New muffler, new catalytic converter, power steering repair, a bunch of other stuff.  She purrs like a kitten now.  The Nissan Armada was an expensive car when new, and it's turning out to be an expensive car to repair.  We still love it and don't want anything else.

Right now we're back at our boondock in the Long Term Visitors Area near Yuma Arizona.  Originally the plan was to be headed east right now, but the car repairs made us buy another permit and this time we got two weeks worth. 

Life is just too easy, convenient, and cheap here.  We have water, dump station, trash, propane, and a church for my mom.  The permits include everything except the propane which is sold at the Christian Service Center next to where we're camped. 

These permits are cheap compared to our usual monthly camping costs.  I normally budget $200/mo for permits, dumping, water, and an occasional Passport America campground.  Here I can get by for $100/mo.  $80 for a 4 week permit, and $20 for propane.  After the huge budget devastation the car repair caused me I needed a cheap month.

I don't want to get complacent, however.  My goal is to get to Florida before the end of winter so we can have a short flight to visit family in Puerto Rico.  Whether this goal continues in January or in February...not sure yet.  But we're staying put for now.

This is our first winter living off our solar.  The short days are such a pain.  Especially since our generator has some problem where it shorts everything out after we run it.  It never seems to add any juice to our batteries either.  This is a problem we need to address, but I'm just not up to another repair right now.  Maybe, eventually, we'll get this worked out.  (We're close to the dealership so maybe there?)  I just don't know where we'll live while the repairs happen.  Ugh.

Anywho, we run out of power shortly after the sun moves to the side of us.  The Satellite is a power suck.  Watching TV is turning into a luxury.  Work, however?  My work has to get done.

I work in the evenings because I can't concentrate when my mom and cats are bouncing around the RV.  Night gives me quiet time to get into my writer zone.  Of course, we have no juice left in the batteries at night, and can't run our generator.  My laptop batteries only get me two hours of use.  So what do I do?

I take that 410 watt cigarette lighter inverter we bought when our main inverter blew and hook it to the engine battery.  I hook my laptop to this and work.  After an hour or two this battery is dying.  So I turn on the RV and let it run long enough to replenish the battery.  Then I go back to work. 

Often I have to press my 'Emergency Start' switch to get the RV to start.  (Thank God for this, BTW.)  I'm probably doing damage to all our batteries.  I'm sorry if anyone is cringing out there.  I just need to be able to work.  I'm not retired.  I have to make my monthly income writing my novels.  I try to get something out every month.

So, yes, the dark days of winter are not ideal, but we always seem to manage one way or another.

I almost forgot--the reason I called this post 'here's the skinny' is because my mother and I are dieting again.  I know we try and fail alot, but our health is suffering.  Also, if we do get to Puerto Rico I don't want my cousin mentioning how fat we are again.  x_x 

Thursday, December 1, 2016


We're at the Cocopah casino on the Indian Reservation in Yuma (Summerton, actually).  There is a big RV lot on blacktop with lines marking out nice large spaces.  There's about 30 RVs here and it's only half full.  It's $10 to stay here for 3 days, but they give you one day free, so it ends up being four.

This is perfect because we just dumped and took water at the LTVA in Winterhaven and are good to dry camp for 4 days. 

Why did we drive the rig out here?  Well, first off, I was going to have to do it eventually because we needed gas in the RV and there's no gas stations in Winterhaven except for one on a military base (where we had a negative experience before). 

Second, the car will be done tomorrow and it would be hard to drive the RV to the Meineke.  I want to get an Uber like I did before.  There's no Ubers in Winterhaven.  Moving over here gives me access to that service again.

This is a very nice blacktop boondock.  Pretty quiet so far, except for one noisy truck engine that ran for a while.  All around us is bright green grass, the casino landscaping.  It's been so long since I had something other than desert and scrub brush to look at.

Of course, we're stupid and gambled ourselves broke.  Not really--but we did go overboard.  In that regard it becomes a much more expensive boondock.  Meh...oh well.  It's what we enjoy.

Before we settled in here we drove to a Food For Less and got provisions.  This is a Mexican grocery store chain in Yuma (and elsewhere?).  We were low on everything so I really filled up the shopping cart, including the space under it. 

If you go to a Mexican grocery you'll notice that people have very little in their carts, or are just carrying one or two items to the checkout.  People go shopping more than once every two weeks.  A lot of the carts looked to hold the contents of one dinner. 

So here I come with my megacart.  The check out lanes aren't designed for big piles of stuff.  It's that tiny rotary style check out you see at little mom and pop grocery stores.  I let a man with two items ahead of me.  Then a woman with one item comes up.  I tell her to go ahead.

Her eyes bulged and she said, "Really?" in a tone that sounded like she knew me (or my type) and was shocked that I was being civilized.  She followed it up with a genuine thank you, and a 'thank you so much!'

I looked like a fat trashy white person.  We had planned to shower that morning, but couldn't park the RV in by the token shower without a permit, so we skipped it.  I was dressed in what I'd slept in last night because I expected to get cleaned and dressed up after my shower.  My hair was in a messy bun.  My splotchy skin is white as a fish-belly.  People can't tell I'm a Sorta-Rican (half hispanic).  I look white.  The woman was a young black girl.  She acted like she was not accustomed to someone like me being considerate.  Her reaction made me stop and think. 

But, then, it could be because people in this area are generally inconsiderate and have nothing to do with race.  I don't really know.