Sunday, February 22, 2015

We’re in Palm Springs, California


February 22, 2015                                                                                                               Lorraine’s report

Hello once again from Thousand Trails, Palm Springs, CA.  The time sure has been flying by for me, not sure where the days go, but they sure are passing quickly. 

So Chuck wrote about our time since we came here.  I just want to add a few things here and there.  It was so nice Dave and Sandy took time out of their winter plans to come and visit us here in Palm Springs.  Thank you both for coming to spend time with us. it means the world to us.   We went to breakfast with them as they were leaving; it is so sad to watch them go.  They went one way and we went the other.  Hopefully, we will catch up with them here soon, somewhere down the road.

Same thing for Tom, Dorothy and Mary.  We loved visiting with you, it’s such a joy to see you all and to see everyone doing well.  We look forward to seeing you on down the road, next time we make it here to Palm Springs.  I look forward to the next time, even though Dorothy is so busy with all she does, it is always wonderful to see them all.  Many thanks to all these good people who just take the time to be there for us!!!  Thank you all…

So this week we will head back to San Jose to help Susy with her operation.  I talked with her and she is sure ready to have the surgery done, healed and her back to her “normal” self.  And of course, I know I always look forward to seeing our granddaughter, Kaitlyn.  She is growing up so fast.  Her next birthday is in April, she will turn 10.  When did this happen? 

So that is it for me. Have a good week everyone.  Hugs to all…


2/22/15                                                                                                                               Chuck’s report

Oops, we missed posting our blog last week, not sure why but it did end up causing a bit of confusion as we changed our plans and headed to Palm Springs instead of going to Lake Havasu as we mentioned in our blog two weeks ago.  Oh well, such is our life, Lorraine likes to say our plans are as firm as jello. 

Two weeks ago we were firmly planted in Yuma, we had extended our stay at Cactus Gardens for another week.  Monday was our last visit to the dentist in Mexico, they removed the temporary crowns and put on the permanent ones, we paid our bill and we are done with dentists.  Sure glad to have all the work done, we don’t have dental insurance and probably would have elected to have the teeth pulled if we had gone to a dentist up here. 

Tuesday we made a grocery store run then met Carl and Brenda for an early dinner at Daybreakers, a diner at the truck stop.  Not bad, food and service were both good and we had another good visit with these two fine folks.

Wednesday we decided to get in one more visit with our friends who were staying at Fortuna, Rob/Norma, Dennis/Barb and Steve/Sandy.  We managed to stay there visiting, with much laughter I might add, until we decided to drive across town to have dinner at the Cracker Barrel.  We were able to get two tables near each other and continued our visit with these fine folks until we finished dinner and said our so longs outside. 

Thursday we got everything put away and ready for travel.  We had discussed going to Lake Havasu City or Bullhead but decided to travel to Palm Springs instead.  Two big reasons for heading here instead were: it’s more a direct route when we head to Susy’s this week and we could make a drive over to see Joe and Alice before they leave and head back up North.  And it’s a 1000 Trails park so we can stay using our membership and it doesn’t cost anything per night, that’s always a good thing too.

We did experience some heavy winds as we headed West from Yuma but after about 50 miles or so it died down and the traveling was better.  We decided to take the route that takes us along the West side of the Sultan Sea, close enough to see the lake but we’ve been there before so we didn’t stop and explore this time.  We got to our park and were surprised to find a spot right along the main road, not often we get to stay in this section.  The road is very wide so it makes it much easier to back into our spot, only issue is we are facing West and the sun gets hot in the afternoon shining in the big front window.  But we just pull the shades in the afternoon and turn on the air conditioners.  Plus we try to lounge around outside in our chairs some everyday to enjoy this great weather we having. 

Friday we drove to Hemet to meet with Joe and Alice at their winter spot, good to see them once again.  Joe remarked that we get to visit more often when we are not in Washington, even when we stay at their extra lot, because one or the other seems to always have something going on almost every day.  We had a good visit, then drove over to a nice Mexican restaurant before we called it a day and headed back to our place.  They were planning on heading home starting on Sunday so it’s good we got one last visit before that.  We did have Misty with us as we knew we would probably be gone quite awhile, as it turned out, we left around 10 and got back around 7, a full day.

Saturday we sort of just stayed near our place until we headed to Desert Hot Springs Elks Lodge for dinner.  This is actually my home lodge, I joined there 7 years ago.  We were to meet Tom, Dorothy and her sister Mary for dinner, they were having a steak dinner and Dorothy called ahead to get us on the list.  Once again we had a good visit and good dinner, a good time.

Sunday morning Lorraine got ready and went to Church here at the campground.  I was going to start the blog but got busy doing other stuff and just plain forgot the blog until she mentioned it to me a few hours later.  Oh well, not a big deal, we’ll just get caught up the next time. 

That afternoon the  Lewis and Clark FMCA Chapter had planned a pot luck get together so Lorraine got our contribution ready.  The invite said things start at 4 so we got there a few minutes early and helped set up the tables.  Usually at one of these type things everyone is there early and the activities get started earlier than posted but this time we were surprised to note that lots of folks got there after 4 so things didn’t really get started until almost 4:30 or so.  But there were about 40 folks there and everyone had a good time, good pot luck and good visits.  Not a bad turnout considering that Lewis and Clark Chapter is actually from Oregon yet 40 folks were down here, plus they have a  bunch staying in Yuma too. 

Monday we drove over to Augustine Casino for old farts day, they give everyone 55 or older $5 in free play plus $2 off their buffet, I think we pay $12 for two buffets.  Of course we tried our luck on the machines too and this time we both took out some money, nice. 

Our good friends Dave and Sandy posted their blog on Monday and we were surprised to find they were back in Los Angeles once again and would be leaving there in a couple of days.  We called them and invited them to stop by and join us here in Palm Springs but they said they already had plans and didn’t plan on heading this way.  Dave said if he had known we were here instead of in Havasu they could have included us in their planning, shoot.  If only we had posted our blog on Sunday they would have know we were here and maybe could have gotten together. 

Tuesday I had an appliance repairman coming by to check out our fridge, it hasn’t be getting cool enough.  Sure enough, it needed two parts, a fan and a temperature sensor.  After he replaced them, it has been working fine once again but I’m not used to having issues with refrigerators, this is the third service call we’ve had on our two year old Samsung.  It is bigger and stays colder than the Norcold that came with the rig but it hasn’t been as reliable as hoped.  Here’s hoping for a long run of it working without any issues.

After he finished up with the repairs, Lorraine had all the bedding and stuff ready to head to the laundry mat.  We have a washer and drier in the rig and usually that’s all we need but this time we needed to do rugs and bedding so needed bigger machines.  We had checked this place out a couple days before and it has some large washers and driers that we knew would work.  A couple hours later everything was clean and back in the car, not too bad.  On the way back we stopped at Del Taco for Taco Tuesday special for our dinner.

We did have a good surprise, Dave called and asked if the invite was still open to come visit us.  I assured him it was and that it shouldn’t be a problem to get them reservations.  I called back to the office and got them set up for two days and let them know they were set up and welcomed.  So they were able to change their plans a bit and see us even though we didn’t post our actual location in our blog as usual.   

Wednesday we made another run to Wal-Mart, Lorraine just needed a couple of items so it was a pretty quick trip.  This time we went to the new one just up the road from us and it wasn’t crowded, in fact, when we checked out we found an empty register just waiting for us, not too common at WM for sure.

Thursday was another sort of quite day, we made a run to Costco to return something then went back to Augustine for their Thursday senior buffet and once again tried our luck on the machines.  I think I was up but Lorraine sad she was down some, bummer. 

Friday Dave and Sandy got here about about 10:30 or so, I had saved them a spot right across the street from us when someone left earlier in the morning.  Once they got to the gate, we met them and guided them to their spot and left to let them set up.  We had made plans to tour the area a bit later so after they got set up we firmed up our plans. 

First we wanted to see Mike and Linda from our RV America group, the one we stay with in Quartzsite.  They are staying here also so it was just a short trip to their place.  They seem to be really glad to see Dave and Sandy, it’s been three years I think they said.  We only stayed for a sort visit, just over an hour I think, before we left them and headed out to tour the area.  Linda has been fighting the flu or a cold so they didn’t want to do much except let her rest so they didn’t go with us.

Frist off, we went to an Oasis just up the way from us that we knew about.  This one has lots of palm trees and they aren’t trimmed with just a few fronds on the top, instead these are allowed to let them bend down and cover the trunk, sort of like a hula skirt.  This Oasis is located right on the San Andres fault line and there is some “fresh” water coming out out of the desert, enough that it is running, even has small fish and tadpoles in some pools.  We spent an hour or so here, may have stayed longer but they close and lock the gate at 5:00 sharp and we didn’t want to be locked in for sure. 

After the Oasis, we just toured the back roads a bit before we headed back and had dinner at Cocos, a diner just up the road from us.  We really enjoyed our day with these good folks, sure glad they could change their plans to be here.  After dinner we came back to our place and they taught us a new card game called “7s”.  Fairly easy game to understand, must have been because I won. 

Saturday Dave, Sandy, Lorraine and I went to the Palm Springs Street Fair.  We have been there already this year but wanted to show it to Dave and Sandy so we made another trip.  The crowds were larger than last time we were there but did start to thin out a bit by the time we left with our few purchases.  We made plans to go to a “all you can eat” lobster buffet for dinner later so wanted to find something lite for lunch.  Therefore we stopped by a burger place for lunch.

We had a couple hours before we headed out once again and spent some of that time with Mike and Linda once again.  Linda was feeling better but still not up to going out so they declined our offer to go with us to the buffet.  We got to the buffet and on the waiting list by 6, they said it would be an hour’s wait.  So we got Dave and Sandy signed up for their player’s card and they both had $10 free play, that didn’t last too long however. 

Shortly after 7 we got to our table, Lorraine and Sandy both wanted the buffet but Dave and I just ordered off the menu, we both had meatloaf.  I know the gals had their fill of lobster and prime rib and even had a small desert.  The meatloaf portion was pretty large so Dave and I didn’t suffer any either.  We got back about 8:00 or so after another good dinner and visit.

The weather this past week has been just outstanding, high 80s or even low 90s for the most part.  Sure glad we have air conditioners in the afternoon.  The lows have only been dropping to the high 50s to so that means shorts and tee shirts all day long.  We have had some clouds a few days but nothing to be concerned about but the forecast is for rain in Los Angeles tonight with some maybe coming over the mountains and getting to us tomorrow.  We have some dark clouds over the mountains today but no rain so far.  And todays high is only forecast to be in the low 70s, a cold snap for us. 

We have had some heavy winds over the past two weeks, when we left Yuma they were getting close to 30 MPH and Saturday we had some in the mid 30+ MPH.  The sand was blowing across the roads bad enough it looked like a snow storm with snow blowing and drifting but of course, the temps were pretty nice. 

Our travel plans are pretty simple, we will leave here on Wednesday and head back to the Elks Lodge near Susy’s.  She is having surgery on Friday and we will be there to help her during her recovery.  Hope everything goes well with her surgery!!!

I know we have some pictures in the camera as I took lots of pictures when we were at the Oasis so I’ll go through them and add some here then get this posted.   

Pictures along our drive from Yuma to Palm Springs. 

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The wind was blowing hard enough to blow sand across the road, just like snow drifts only lots warmer. 

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Even had small “white caps” on the irrigation canal.  Not much grows without water as seen on the right. 

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This is what happens when there is water available in the desert. 

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A palm tree nursery on the left.

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Sultan Sea in the background.

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Our site here at Palm Springs 1000 Trails campground, these palm trees are trimmed like most of them are.  

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Joe and Alice at their place. 

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Lewis and Clark chapter get together. 

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Left to right are Lorraine, Sandy, Linda, Mike and Dave.  Sandy and Lorraine at the Oasis we visited. 

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Pictures from the Coachella Valley Preserve (Oasis).  The palm trees aren’t trimmed so lots of animals and birds live in/under the skirts. 

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Here is the water, comes up right at the San Andres Fault line. 

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Some of the branches have pretty severe thorns as shown on the left and middle.  Lorraine, Dave and Sandy on the right. 

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Sandy under one of the trees that form an arch. 

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Sunset pictures. 

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Thanks   Chuck


Sunday, February 8, 2015

We’re in Yuma, Arizona

February 8/2015                                                                                                                       Lorraine’s report

Hello, and once again, thanks for stopping by.  We are still in Yuma, daytime high 88 degrees yesterday.  Such a hard life we are living…

So this week we had dentist appointments with our doctor and we have been visiting with friends.  Imagine going into the dentist, and have him tell you that you needed a root canal.  You have no time to even say no, you just go do it.  That is what happened to me.  We went into Mexico, not knowing what to expect, and being told you need a root canal, done that day.  Well, that is what Dr. Ramos said to me.  He called a specialist, they sent someone over for me, took me over to have it done, and brought me right back after it was done.  By then it was time to quit for the day, so I went home with nothing covering the newly removed root canal tooth.  What an experience. 

The last time the doctor said I needed a root canal, a few years ago here in Mexico, the lady dentist had a hard time, my tooth was dry and she had a hard time with  me.  We were in a circle in her office and another man heard what I had been through, and said when I finished, he was glad what happened to me hadn’t happened to him.  He said he was sorry for all I had been through and wished me well.

Hopefully. root canals aren’t in my future for a while, at least I hope not….  I’m sure glad we are almost through with the dentist.  So my mouth is sore from all the work that has been done.  We are taking anti-inflammatory, antibiotics, pain, and an oral rinse to help it heal.  This was tough!

This week we have visited a lot of our friends.  It has been so very nice to see, meet and greet everyone.  We enjoyed visiting all of them.  One time we went over we saw seen Barb, but not Dennis, Norma, but not Rob for he and Dennis had to take their rig back to Lake Havasu to order parts one day.  We saw Steve/Sandy, and Mark & Sue.  Then one different day, we went back to see the gang at Barbs’; she was having a get together and invited us to stay and eat with all of them.  And we got to visit with their friends, Ed and Linda.  Thank you for inviting us over, it was fun.  And of course, we have seen Brenda & Carl, and they came over here to our place too.  Yesterday we visited with Barb & Ray, and we got to see their new home, their new rig, and we all went to eat.  Something we all like to do.  

Not sure what the week holds for us.  But it will be exciting or not -- whatever…Anyhow, hope you all have a great week…

Hugs to all,



2/8/15                                                                                                                                     Chuck’s report

We’ve been busy this week and have managed to spend some time visiting with friends in the area too, a nice week for sure. 

Last Sunday we got ready to watch the Super Bowl and had a good time with just to the two of us.  Lorraine had fixed up lots of snacks and we were “ready for some football”.  I thought the Seahawks looked like they did against the Packers two weeks before, just not in sync for the first part of the game but got things going and it was turning out to be a good game.  I was pretty sure it was a done deal when they were up 10 points late in the third quarter but no, New England came back and scored two touchdowns to go up by 4 points and held Seattle scoreless for the fourth quarter.  But Seattle got the ball back with just over 2 minutes to play and made some good plays including an unbelievable catch at the 5 yard line. 

They were now first and goal with plenty of time of the clock but they did waste a timeout.  First down was a running play, got them to the one yard line.  They were letting the clock run down so when they scored a touchdown it would leave NE with little time remaining.  But wait, they went for a pass play over the middle and it was intercepted, game over.  I was sure they would run the ball again, their running game was looking good but guess the coaches wanted to try an unexpected play vs a running play.  I understand trying a pass at that time and place but would rather have seen it in the corner instead of over the middle when they were all lined up there to stop a probably running play.  Really disappointed but it was a good game, just didn’t turn out the way we were rooting.  A good season for them, hope they can make it back to the big game soon and win it.

Monday we headed over to the GMC dealer, where we bought our car last year, for an oil change.  We were given lifetime oil changes at the dealer so every time we are in town we can bring it in for a free oil change and service.  They got us right in and we while we were waiting we talked to our salesman from last year.  He, of course, wanted us to trade it in but that ain’t happening just yet, ha.  And yes, they did change the oil and rotate the tires and all it cost us was a signature, good deal. 

Later we stopped at Bed Bath and Beyond, Lorraine had a few items she wanted.  Afterward we went over to see Barb, Norma, Steve and Sandy at their park.  Rob and Dennis had taken Rob’s rig to Lake Havasu for maintenance so they weren’t there.  But we had a good visit anyway.  After leaving them, we stopped by Brenda and Carl’s sites for a short visit with them too, they are all in the same park. 

Tuesday we decided to do some exploring in the Foothill area across the freeway from where we are staying.  This is the area where we have stayed at TJ and Sharon’s lot and we wanted to just drive around and see what was for sale or rent.  But before we had gone very far, we decided to find where Mark and Sue were staying.  They were at home so we made an unannounced stop for a nice visit with them.  After that, we drove around the Foothill a bit but didn’t find anything we had to have although we did write down a few phone numbers in case we wanted more info.  The only one we called ended up as a bust anyway so guess we didn’t find what we were looking for, whatever that is.

Wednesday we had dentist appointments in Mexico, Lorraine’s at 2 and mine at 3.  I was waiting outside when the dental assistant escorted me to the room where Lorraine was in the chair.  Seems the dentist had found a cavity under one of her caps and wanted us to decide if it should be pulled or have a root canal and new crown.  After talking over the options and prices, we decided to go with the root canal and crown. 

Last time Lorraine had a root canal down here it was pretty rough for her.  This time I told him we wanted a different dentist and he sent us to the “best in town”.  They set it up so she could go right over and get it done while I was doing my time in the chair.  So off she went to this other office and I went into the chair.

Last week I had my broken tooth prepped for a crown so he removed that temporary crown and installed the finished one.  Then he started prepping a different tooth for a crown, this is the one he found last time that had a large filling and was cracked.  As he was working on it, he found the one in front of it had a large cavity so we went through the deciding process of pulling or root canal/crown for me, damn. 

We made the decision to go with the root canal for me (can’t have Lorraine have all the fun).  We made a schedule for the first visit the next morning for Lorraine to finish up her prep for a new crown on the tooth that just had it’s root drilled out.  Meanwhile, I would go to the other dentist and have a root canal then return for my crown prep.  Don’t think we could have had all this work scheduled this quick back home.

So Thursday morning it was back to Mexico and the dentist.  We were finished by 11:15 then headed back to our rig, both of us sore and tired but glad to have it done.  Just one more visit, we hope, to install the new crowns  and we’re done with them for another year. 

Our front air conditioner has been making some rubbing noises, something I’ve repaired before so I sort of knew what I needed to do.  If it was like last time, I needed to get up on the roof, take things apart and raise the squirrel cage fan to stop the rubbing, at least I hoped it was the same as last time I had this issue. 

Just after we got back from the dentist and before I got started, Carl and Brenda happened to drive by looking for us.  I had just finished walking Misty and they spotted me walking back to our rig so they came in for a visit.  It was pretty warm inside with only one air conditioner running and Carl offered to help so we tackled the repair. 

It was hot up there, temperature was probably about 80, but once we got everything apart it was obvious that all we had to do was move the fan back up the shaft and put everything back together.  It sure is easier to do this with two people, I didn’t have to hold things out of the way and try to remove the screws/bolts by myself.  Things went pretty smooth and soon enough we had both air conditioners running once again.  Thanks for your help Carl, sure appreciate it!

After we finished up, cleaned up and rested for a bit, we headed out for an early dinner.  We ended up at Cracker Barrel and yes, Lorraine did order the breakfast “Uncle Hershel’s” as usual.  Brenda also ordered a breakfast while Carl and I had a regular dinner meal, meat loaf and hamburger steak.  We sure had a good visit but both of us were tried after our dentist visit so it was a quiet evening with nothing much going on after they left us. 

Friday we called Norma to see if we could stop by for a visit with them again and they said sure, come on over.  They had plans to have some Canadian friends over later so we only planned to stay for an hour.  Let’s see, by now Rob/Norma, Dennis/Barb, Steve/Sandy and Mark/Sue were all there at this park and were all getting together with the other friends and they invited us to stay for dinner if we wanted.  We agreed even though we didn’t have anything to add to the pot but everyone said it didn’t matter, we should stay.

After Ed/Linda showed up everyone had a good visit and dinner.  All the gals had brought something for the table and there was plenty to go around, glad we stayed and really enjoyed ourselves.  Thanks everyone. 

We been experiencing some heavy frost buildup inside our freezer so yesterday morning I decided to defrost it before we got on with our day.  After I got the food out I could see where the ice maker, which is inside the freezer of course, has been letting water leak into the bucket and some had even made it to the bottom of the freezer itself and created a big ice chunk.  So it took awhile longer to get all the ice and frost cleaned up than what I’d originally expected.

Everything was going just great until I plugged it back in, it didn’t have any display showing on the “eyebrow” control except for one flashing light.  I tried all the normal things, unplugging it again, pushing different buttons to reset it, even when so far as to find a manual online to see if it had any advice but no luck there.  So I ended up calling Samsung’s help line for assistance. 

I was pleased that it only took a few different menu options until I got to talk to a real person who spoke good English and was in the States somewhere.  I could tell she was reading from a troubleshooting guide whenever she offered suggestions but whatever, at least we could try different things than what I had been doing. 

After about the fourth attempt, she suggested it was in “display mode”, this is what it should be set when on the display floor, the lights work but it doesn’t attempt to cool.  She had me push two buttons at the same time (I had already attempted this on my own) and hold them down for ~ 5 seconds.  Still no luck so I went outside and unplugged/plugged back in the thing again and when I came back in it was working.  Still not sure what the issue was but after trying the different fixes it is now working, yea. 

We had made plans to meet our friends Ray and Barb at their house on the other side of Yuma at noon and would have made it on time except for the fridge not turning on.  Lorraine called and let them know we would head out ASAP but would not be there by noon for sure.  I think it was about 12:45 when we got to their house.

They welcomed us into their house, showed us around inside and out.  I didn’t know they had a swimming pool plus they’ve done a lot of work cleaning up the front and back yards too, looks really good.  They also showed us their new motorhome, nice and they are getting it ready for travel.  Seems they are getting really set up, a home here, one in Washington and a nice motorhome for their travels, sweet. They’ve sure firmed up their retirement lifestyle to what they want, we still haven’t decided what, where or when for us. 

We hopped in their car and headed out for lunch, we went to  a place called Yummy Yummy Chinese, a small place inside a strip mall a little ways from their place.  They said they had about 20 items for $5 and sure enough, there it was on the menu.  We all ordered #4, rice, either white or fried, almond chicken and sweet/sour chicken.  The portions were large too, we all had two plates in front of us.  And best of all, it was tasty too.  Not a bad choice for sure.

Later we returned to their house and continued our visit until it was time for us to head back to our place.  We had a good time, thanks for carving time out of your busy schedules for us. 

And when we got back to our place and checked the freezer, everything was good and cold although the fridge isn’t as cold as normal.  May need to have that looked at when we get back to Susy’s place later this month but it’s good for now. 

The weather this week has been really nice, it’s getting into the low/mid 80s almost everyday now and only dropping to the low/mid 50s at night.  I think we could really become used to these temperatures plus the humidity has been low too. Ah, this is one of the reasons we like heading South for the winter.

I’ve been neglecting trying to firm up our travel plans, still not sure where we will go after here.  We signed up for a second week at this park, our time is up on Thursday.  We are thinking of heading over to Fortuna for three days then we’ll go up to Bullhead City or Laughlin for a week.  We had been trying to work in a visit with Dave and Sandy at their place but don’t look like we will make it due to timing of the dentist visits.  Sure glad we had the short visit with you two in Quartzsite a couple weeks ago. 

I know Lorraine didn’t take too many pictures with our camera this week but once again, I’ll probably find a few to add here then get this posted. 

Another nice sunset one evening. 

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Carl and I working on the air conditioner.  Oops, caught me laying down on the job on the right. 

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Thanks   Chuck