Desert talk (yay) and insurance (yuck)

Bridget and I like to walk in a desert wash.

Behind our camp here in the Sonoran Desert near Why, Arizona, there is a wash about as wide as a one-lane road.  Its surface is a deep layer of gritty sand.  This gives good, flexing exercise for the lower legs and ankles, as well as a nice alternative to sharp rocks for Bridget’s pads.

1-P1020286Photo of our home taken while standing in the wash

Unlike every other wash we’ve walked, this one is spooky.

1-P1020290Not much variation in color at this time of year

The bushes on both sides lean in toward us.  Hmm. . . . They look like hiding places.  Tree limbs hover over us.

1-P1020287 Numerous tracks mark the sand. 

Although the tracks appear to be the prints of wildlife, I’m unsettled by the thought that  smugglers might use a wash to conceal themselves as they move across the desert.

1-P1020285See all the tracks?

When thoughts take a negative turn — like “what is going to jump out of those bushes and gobble up Bridget” — it’s time to do something else!  The day these photos were taken was cool and breezy, the kind of day when staying inside, sitting in a sunbeam with Bridget’s warmth beside me, is very appealing.

That’s what I do!

Later, at dusk, I take these pinkish, purplish, dark pics. 

1-P1020301 It’s tempting to ramp them up in editing with more light and “glow.”  I resist.

1-P1020295I don’t know what I think about these photos. 

At first sight they’re too dark and somber.  I almost reject them.  After examining them for a while, I pick up a feeling of timelessness though, when dusk creates an atmosphere of “stop what you’re doing, be still.”

I’ve only experienced that special, end-of-another-day-of-those-allotted-to-you mood in quiet, unpopulated places such as these pictures show.

1-P1020292That’s what I love about photography.  You don’t have to be an expert to capture a mood!

Sunday, January 25

Last night I resolve to spend this day at Organ Pipe National Monument.  I want to drive the Ajo Mountain Road and, of course, take photos.

This morning that plan doesn’t hold much appeal.  So far it’s a grey day, barely into the 60s although the forecast is for a high in the 70s, which we may have by this afternoon when the gusty breezes settle down.  I’m not motivated to make an early start.

I need to pick up more one-gallon jugs when convenient.

In the past few weeks three have sprung leaks.  That leaves me with only five containers which means I’m having to make a trip into town for water sooner than I would otherwise.

Bridget and I made such a “water run” yesterday.  After the water vending machine, I decide to browse the Family Dollar store, maybe pick up a comb for removing cholla and a cheap thermometer.

I walk inside and soon find myself, quite by accident, in the women’s clothing section.

Garish pink and turquoise and orange shouts from the racks, not to mention the sparkles and crap.  I can’t imagine walking around in that stuff, looking like a carnival show on the move.  I mean, everyone is free to wear what they want, but, I tell you, some of the colors women wear are beyond belief.  I’m thinking, “Uh, lady, could ya’ tone it down a little bit?

Oh well, I like the colors in flowers and sunsets.

1-P1020294The aisles in Family Dollar are narrow and the shelves are loaded with stuff. 

The effect is claustrophobic.  I leave without the comb and without the thermometer, pushing through the door to fresh air and my Bridgie-baby waiting in the Perfect Tow Vehicle.

“Okay.  That’s enough civilization for this week,” I say out loud as I turn the ignition key.  “We’re gonna’ break with tradition and not stop at Olsen’s.”  I smile.  “Let’s go home.”

Soon we’re motoring across the flat desert of tan sand and green creosote, grey mountains in the distance, pale blue above.

I finally read my mail that was forwarded here.

This took about three days because I don’t have the fortitude to stick with insurance-ese for more than a few minutes at a time.   Several posts back a reader cautioned me that my insurance may be useless outside of the state where it originates.  (Oh, dear God, my eyes are glazing over.  Give me strength.)

In the mail I find a check for $45!

Remember the shingles shot I obtained at Wal-Mart in Globe, Arizona?  The usual price is around $225.  I only had to pay $45 that day and now, it turns out, I’m reimbursed!  This encourages me to actually read a few pages of the insurance gobbledy-guk.

1-P1020309I discover a statement that says this insurance is good for medical providers and pharmacies in any state across the country.  It’s with United Healthcare through my former employer.  Apparently I switched from Blue Cross-Blue Shield and wiped that transaction totally out of my mind.

(I do that with insurance matters.)

Medicare insurance costs $104.90 a month.  I have the medigap policy with UHC which is $25.38 monthly.  Added to that is a cancer/catastrophic policy that costs $50.04 a month.  That last insurance probably isn’t a good buy.  I’m afraid to drop it.  (I’m allowed some superstitions.)  Altogether I pay $180.32 a month for insurance.

Okay, can we talk about something else PLEASE?

I don’t have a new photo of Bridget for this post.  She’s asleep under the covers right now and I don’t want to bother her.  This photo was taken last summer when we camped at East Lake in Ashley National Forest, northern Utah.

1-DSC05251Such a bright and sunny day! 

There!  We needed a bright photo after all these dark ones!  Looking out the window of the Best Little Trailer, the sky remains overcast and the lighting is dim.   It’s supposed to rain tomorrow.   That’s okay.  Organ Pipe isn’t going anywhere.

Bridget and I are happy together in our little home in the desert.

rvsue

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188 Responses to Desert talk (yay) and insurance (yuck)

  1. Marilu from Northern California says:

    #1?

    • Rattlesnake Joe says:

      Hello, Marilu goodbye heart, sweet Marilu I’m so in love with you, I knew Marilu we’d never part, so hello Marilu…goodbye heart 🙂 Here is a little good humor song for being first ta-dah.

  2. Denise - Richmond VA says:

    Whoo-Hoo…#2! 🙂

  3. Denise - Richmond VA says:

    Ok…3

  4. Deb says:

    Enjoy reading your blog. Beautiful country we live in. Did you decide to not get
    Another dog? Bridget is a great companion.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Another crew member will be added when found in the normal course of our travels. We’re not in a good location for a search right now.

      You’re new here? If so, welcome, Deb! (There are a few Debs that comment here.)

      • Deb says:

        Thanks. First time. My late husband and I loved to travel the U.S.
        Your blog makes me feel I could do it .. And my black lab.

  5. Chaunte in West TN says:

    In the top 10?

  6. Marilu from Northern California says:

    Well I’m glad you didn’t reject those dark pensive photos. They are an excellent contrast to your usual bright ones and illustrate the different moods of the desert. It’s interesting that you got a spooky feeling walking in the wash and I’m glad you decided to change direction. It’s important to payattention when the hairs start to stand up on the back of you neck!
    Sue, do you have any way of knowing how many people follow your blog? Do you keep a list of people who participate? You seem to have a good memory of people, their spouses, and their dogs. The number of comments lately is amazing!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Marilu,

      The statistics for my blog were messed up twice… The first time when my blog was temporarily suspended before I changed it to self-hosting and then again when I had some technology issues that I still don’t understand.

      Anyway…. About 50,000 visits were not recorded on sitemeter (last Sept.). When people subscribe they either go to a list or show up as an email notice in my inbox. Weird! I have no idea the total followers of my blog due to these disruptions.

      I do know daily visits range from 4,000 to 6,500. The variation, I believe, is dependent upon what time of day I post.

      Numbers aren’t important. What a blog provides is. The comments are very important to me because that’s where my readers become more than numbers. 🙂

  7. kgdan says:

    Gorgeous day in Laughlin even with the trailer-rocking winds. Seahawks just lifted off headed to Arizona amid a gynormous fan sendoff. Would love to see them (we are so close) but, like you, we are claustrophobic & will cheer from afar. GO HAWKS!
    The weather is warming up and research is active here exploring travels for spring.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Kathy and Gil,

      I’m always happy to hear from you guys. Sounds like you’re “enjoying the life.” I can’t relate to your enthusiasm for the Seahawks or any other team, for that matter. I don’t even know what sport the Seahawks play. (I know… clueless!) I’m guessing it’s not cricket or bowling.

      • It’s football, Sue. We aren’t interested either though it is the Superbowl… once a year best of the best of the year for football teams. It’s not for me either… unless… hmm, I’d be interested in going to a Superbowl party… ooo maybe I’ll host one. Haha, I have almost a week to plan and find all the other people who aren’t interested in the game. We’ll have nachos, wine, and laugh at the commercials! Yeah! …in my mind. For real, it’s just another Sunday. I’m an introvert too. Sundays are wonderful! 🙂

    • Merle from WA says:

      Kgdan……nice to see another Seahawks fan onboard with RV Sue. We camp here in the dessert enjoying the solitude, topography and weather. Yet with the up coming game we are checking out on our map book for a boondocking site that may have TV reception!! What a contrast!!

      Talk about a mood swing…….

  8. Denise - Richmond VA says:

    Hello, Sue,

    I had to laugh at your description of gaudy women’s clothing….”walking around like a carnival show..” Ha! Well, it must appeal to someone, because they keep selling it! Some of that makes me cringe. Almost as bad as 50-something women dressing in their 20-something daughter’s too small, age inappropriate, clothes. Not.Flattering. LOL!

    Your dusk shots speak to me…that the gloriously bright day is winding down for a calm, quiet night. Not sure that I conveyed what they bring to mind….peace and calmness.

    I agree, all those tracks in the wash are definitely a cause for pause….hopefully they are old. If you plan to stay in the area, maybe rake part of the wash so you can tell if there is new human activity. I know you will listen to your gut.

    Nice closing picture of pretty Miss Bridge! Have a good day. Snuggle in, cuddle with Bridget, fix a cup of tea, and maybe catch up on some reading. Hugs from me and Gracie pup! 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Denise,

      You describe dusk in the desert very well with a few words. Thanks for noting my photos.

      Bridget and I will leave here soon and, so, we probably won’t know what the tracks in the wash are all about.

      Cuddle Gracie pup for me!

  9. DeAnne in TN says:

    I was reading with interest about your water jugs. I know you usually use tea jugs. One thing that I have been saving sporadically are the plastic “jug” containers that my kitty’s litter comes in. I’m sure someone will send a cautionary tale, but it’s not like I’m going to keep the water in them for weeks and microwave it. I don’t have a lot of storage, but I’ve saved a few–makes me smile when I look at them.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, DeAnne,

      You saying how the containers you intend for water make you smile brings back memories. I used to gaze at the most ordinary things I’d purchased for a life on the road and they made me smile, too.

  10. Chas Anderson says:

    I am no expert on insurance and am not yet eligible for medicare but I am caring for 2 elderly relatives and my guess is that if you have medicare and the United healthcare plan as backup you probably do not need the other two.All of this conjecture depends on your tolerance for co pays.deductibles etc.

    Meddicare seems to pick up the bulk of my mother and aunts expenses and the UHC plan gets most of the rest.The UHC plan (I think) has a catastrophic annual limit so if you can swallow several thousand dollars that is your worse case scenario.

    It was my understanding that the UHC is a Medigap plan which is redundant with a medicare advantage plan.

    My opinion only but Medicare and UHC are probably what you need. Other readers, can, I am sure , tell you better.If I am wrong, I will be glad to have other readers educate me…but Mom and Aunt Gloria are doing fine with medicare and UHC .Gloria is on dialysis 3 times a week and has a million medical issues.Nobody has more doctors than Aunt Gloria.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Chas,

      First off, let me say, your mother and aunt are fortunate to have you overseeing stuff like insurance. I send them best wishes. Dialysis 3 times a week … I’m sorry your aunt has to do that.

      I wasn’t clear about the insurance I carry. The cancer/catastrophic insurance is only one policy at a set rate. It pays directly to me, regardless of what other private insurance or Medicare pays.

      You’re right. Medicare and UHC are all I need.

      I don’t understand the statement “It was my understanding that the UHC is a Medigap plan which is redundant with a medicare advantage plan.” The reason I’m confused is I don’t know the difference between the two and are you referring to my cancer policy as Medigap?

      • DesertGinger says:

        Medigap, here in Arizona, refers to insurance packages that are supplements for original Medicare. Each company offers policies in a variety of coverages, ‘F’ being the highest level of coverage. I have original medicare and Blue Cross and Blue Sheild medigap level ‘F’.
        My understanding is that Medicare Advantage replaces original Medicare. You do not have two policies, you have one. Some advantage plans offer extras, like dental and/or vision coverage. However, my understanding is that advantage plans cover you in your home state but out of state they pay for emergency services only.

      • DesertGinger says:

        United health care us an insurance company. I don’t know but they probably have both medigap and advantage plans. Neither of which would have anything to do with your cancer plan Sue.

        I imagine your cancer plan is not medical insurance but is the type of plan that will pay you some amount of money per month for living expenses, if you get the covered illness.

        Although these are not bad plans, you will always get your SS monthly for expenses. It seems like it would make more sense to pay for a long-term-care plan that would cover costs of an assisted living home in the event you are no longer able to live alone. Pretty good bet most of us will end up in one of those places someday.

        • Good to see you D.G. ! Hope you are doing well! As for insurances, I am happy for Medicare and our supplement Humana! Regarding my need for physical hydrotherapy, whew, I am so glad we have it! It pays 100% for the first 12 treatments! Hopefully that will be all the treatment I need! Because after that my co-pay will run about $500 a month! YIKES! Hydrotherapy has helped alot! I am now able to walk without a cane, not far, but walking!

      • Chas Anderson says:

        I misspoke.UHC is a medigap plan.You should not have both medicare and a medicare advantage plan.Probably only need medicare and UHC and can drop medicare advantage.Should save the $25 cost.The cancer plan is likely an income continuation plan.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Gosh, I’m sorry to be so dense, Chas. You mention four insurances… You say to keep (1)Medicare and (2)UHC and drop (3)medicare advantage and then there’s the (4)cancer plan. I only have three plans.

          Given that either (2) or (3) is what I have, it paid out the remainder on the shingles shot bill, after Medicare. Can I assume I have the right thing from that?

          As best I can tell, I have UHC medigap ($25) and I do not have a medicare advantage plan. I’m going to edit my post to avoid further confusion, I hope.

  11. Kim says:

    Prettiest Bridget portrait yet? Suitable for framing!

  12. EmilyO in NM says:

    Curious, in a previous post you said you leave out a gallon water jug while you are gone; have you ever had it gone or partially used when you return to camp? Good solemn sunset pics. It’s good to have those moods.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, EmilyO,

      I’m happy to hear from you! No, the water jug I leave out has remained untouched. Thanks for complimenting my photos.

  13. Carol, Auburn says:

    I absolutely love the photos in this post. Any one of them would be lovely hanging on a wall!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thank you, Carol. I’m learning not to make a quick decision on photos to post. Someone always seems to like them!

  14. Trainman says:

    Hi Sue,
    If you just want to make a water run, and not go all the way to town, there is a water machine in Why. Across from the WhyNotStore you will see the Fire Station, and next to the station is the Community Building. The water machine is on the south side of the Community Building. Bring your quarters.

    Trainman

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thank you, Trainman! That does make a much shorter trip.

      Is there a public trash bin in Why somewhere? Other than in a campground or RV park?

  15. Chaunte in West TN says:

    Hi Sue and Bridge!
    I’m so glad you added those pics that you were unsure about.
    They are beautiful! I despise going to the dollar store. Here, they
    are all unorganized chaos and I get so I have to leave, it’s too much.
    I just love the spooky tree. It would be great for a Halloween setting!

    Have safe and happy travels, as always~
    Chaunte’, Shea, & the fur babies

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You get what I meant about the dollar store! I’m not claustrophobic as a rule. Those places are Too Much.

      Yeah, that’s a spooky tree, all right. Thank you, Chaunte, for your nice words about my pics.

  16. Elizabeth in WA says:

    I learned the hard way to pay attention to my “feelings”, reservations, whatever. Hope you will be safe the rest of your time there, Sue.

    I cannot for the life of me, understand how it is, that this insurance hubby worked to have for us in our old age, now we have to also get medicare, which then probably holds the deciding hand in our medical affairs? Just begun in Dec. so we will see. All these invasions of our privacy sure bother me!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Elizabeth,

      I know so little about insurance and Medicare that the saying “Too dumb to know better” applies well to me.

      Thank you for your hope for our safety.

      • DesertGinger says:

        You know insurance isn’t that confusing. The Pima County Council on Aging holds a class on all the different types of Medicare, what to sign up for, etc. you can call them to sign up for class, or call them with your questions. You cal also call medicare directly; they are very helpful.

      • Elizabeth in WA says:

        I have always left that stuff up to hubby too. He read and read and read…and I thought that what was put out to the public at least, not so long ago, was that IF you already had insurance, you did not need the medicare…and we have full insurance…so I fail to see WHY we must have medicare too?? Apparently, it is not optional. Unless you are REALLY rich…from what I gathered listening to a radio program yesterday. In other words rich enough to pay a hefty 20 % of your income etc. in order to pay the fine of NOT taking it. Bunch of double speak in WA DC it seems to me. MADDENING!! We want to retain the right to pick our own docs…but in a way, this picks for us, cause not all docs take medicare patients now…not that I blame them either. Too many think we are all stupid and therefore have no right to make the choices over our own bodies I guess. I so wish we were not on meds…cause I would stay away from a doc unless an emergency!! It is not affecting me yet, but will when I turn 65 as Hubby just did.

        • Elizabeth, you’re right! It’s all confusing as heck. When I turned 65 but was still working & had a group health insurance policy at work, I had Medicare Part A–hospital only. My group plan picked up (sort of) everything else. Once I retired, my employer filled out a short form saying that I was no longer employed. I took the completed form to my local Social Security office where they entered the data & the clerk told me that by tomorrow morning Medicare would have the info, I would be covered by Medicare Part B & I would get my new card in about 6 weeks. It worked so well. And BTW, I wouldn’t have known that I needed the form completed by my employer if my son who works for Social Security hadn’t told me. I naively thought that someone Medicare would know.

          I had my Medicare Supplemental & Part D plans in place so that when I retired, I was covered the next day. We recently went to Yuma to pick up our prescriptions; it was my first time using Medicare & my Part D & it all worked! Whew!

          It really takes a concerted effort to inform yourself about all the options available once you turn 65 & when you retire if you continue to work past 65. Fortunately, both Medicare & Social Security do a fantastic job of walking people through the process. I was prepared to take a class at the local senior center but felt the information available was clear enough.

  17. Merle from WA says:

    Hi Sue,

    Love the sunset photo’s especially the last one. I never get tired of watching it rise or set here in Arizona. On occasion my husband will build a fire at dusk an we’ll set out watch the sun setting and listen to the fire hiss and pop. It’s so soothing…..

    Great photo of HRH Bridgett, you can sure see the weight loss since that photo was taken.

    Safe travels to your next spot.

  18. Anne and Walt Ogden says:

    Sue, we just dropped United HC as they keep eliminating our plan each year. This fall they did the same and wanted us to change to a new plan that would not have covered us outside of our home state as “in network”. Scary thought when you are traveling as we do across the US each year. We switched to a Colonial Penn offering that covers us completely where ever we go for a bit more $ each month. UHC has had it’s issues inour state and most of our HC providers were not happy with it FWIW.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Anne and Walt,

      That’s another thing that confuses me about insurance. Some people have bad experiences and others don’t and both are with the same company. I have a recent letter from UHC that states coverage in all the states. It says it covers as long as the provider accepts Medicare.

      • Elizabeth in WA says:

        Well, I think you may find that the doc you want won’t accept medicare…Sue, therein lies some of the problem, imho anyway.

      • Susan says:

        Hi Sue. Sure enjoy your blog. Thanks for sharing.
        Insurance companies have many many plans. Employers negotiate a contract with the insurance company and decide on what they want in the coverage. Voila…a plan. Sounds like your employer chose well (I believe you mentioned you took your secondary insurance with you as part of retirement).

  19. Linda says:

    That is one spooky-looking tree (phot # 2). No wonder the wash is giving you pause. Remember the tree that grabs the kid in Poltergeist? Yeah.

    In reading too fast, I thought you called Bridget a sunbeam. Not usually ! (Remembering that “grudging” photo of her from a few posts back). But perhaps in the final photo of her for today.

  20. weather says:

    The photos that you detect timelessness within to me hold an enormous sense of where what’s truly beautiful is found.That being apart from is where I feel the music and rhythm of Life- that give the journey’s vision and true value to me. Believing that is an eternal gift once received makes me delighted that you feel the timeless quality,wow…

    It seems the 14 day limit has become of great benefit again.When roads and aisles begin to so crowd you that all you want to do is get away from them,I’d say it’s definitely time to move.I’ll bet by Tuesday following your keen instincts would have made you hit the road anyway.Now your prepared because you’ve already been considering other destinations.

    Love the image of you and Bridget warmed by each other and a sunbeam while inside your beautiful little home.The last photo captures that type of comfort the BLT calls to you with perfectly.May you both stay as warm as I became by reading your post ,thanks for giving me that again,Sue.You really are a master at doing that.Your right about knowing the exact numbers of your following not mattering much,what matters is what you offer that makes us want to.Peace,love,hope-priceless gifts that you’ll forever be rewarded for so faithfully sharing.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, weather,

      You mention the “music and rhythm of life.” After making our home on public lands for a few years now, and even when we camp in campgrounds, the time comes when I feel it’s time to move, even though the location is enjoyable and the weather is good. That feeling comes after two weeks, give or take a few days.

      Maybe in time the rhythm of the road will change and the period of contentment with a camp will lengthen.

      The BLT is a cozy place on blustery days. Some would go nuts in this small area. It suits us fine. My house is a part of me, like a turtle’s shell! 🙂

      Thank you for appreciating another post.

  21. Cinandjules (NY) says:

    When the hair on the back of your neck stands up or you don’t get a good feeling about something….it’s usually for a reason!

    Hmm…a neon desert woman….I can’t picture! Back to the men’s section, durable and cheaper!

    Ah Bridget’s a love! Great photos!

    AO made it down to and back from Syracuse without puking! Yay!!!!!!!

    DeAnne….if the containers make you smile for now….great! Later on…those aren’t food safe for direct contact! We use the pail looking ones to store our Mountain House freezed dried meals and our canned goods! They are quite handy and stackable. We can’t see recycling them!

    We used to store our cat food in them…and were advised it was a big no-no! Not to mention the food has to stay in its original bag…as the kibble debris will go racid touching the plastic. We didn’t know that!

    • DeAnne in TN says:

      Thanks, Cinandjules! Right now, they’re just sitting in the floor of my closet. Probably not practical, but it does give me a little hope. My little camp toaster is right beside it. 🙂 I appreciate your information and concern. I’ll have to keep my eyes open for alternative (inexpensive) containers.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Cinandjules,

      I hope the Chinese food in Syracuse was good. I haven’t had any in ages! What is your favorite dish to order?

      I didn’t know that about kibble and plastic either. Bridget’s kibble stays in the bag.

      Good to hear that AO didn’t become carsick. That’s something I wonder about when considering a dog as a possible crew member. We need a copilot who can travel!

      • Cinandjules (NY) says:

        We brought the Chinese food home….just about to heat it up!

        This is “American” Chinese food…mainly for Jules! My favorite is Chicken chow fun…which is wide flat noodles. Ummm…they don’t have that here!

        She rides good! We’ve changed her from an extra large crate to the metal tube barrier!

        Yes having a crew member that can read that benchmark atlas is paramount! 😉

    • Marilu from Northern California says:

      Don’t you think those neon clothes would make a great disguise for Sue? No one would recognize her with a sequined orange neon top, chartreuse lace skirt, and topped off with a florescent pink wig! Well, she couldn’t be pushing HRH Bridget in her stroller. That would be a dead giveaway

    • A gal in Maple Valley, WA says:

      Cinandjules,

      Would you please direct me as to where I can find that info about which plastics should not be used for food storage that you mentioned? I’m really confused and concerned about what I can use. The big green jug that cat litter comes in is a #2, same as milk jugs. I thought it was the perfect solution for the cats (and their live “gifts” they brought in) getting in the bags. The bags are also plastic, #5. The square pails with a lid and handle are also #2 and #5. I get bird seed in the pails. They are so very useful for storing tons of stuff. I want to do best by my “roommates”. You seem to know exactly where to find information on everything. I’ve only found pro/con statements from the plastics industry; mostly pro. If you would help me to know better, … much obliged ma’am.

      As the news, even BBC, keeps reporting of impending “snowmageddon”, that is also known as ‘winter’ to those of you on the other coast, I am hoping you have the sled runners waxed and the hot cocoa ready. ( with or without the peppermint schnapps) ; )

      Here, in the foothills of the Cascades, close to Puget sound, we are still enjoying (?) our pineapple express winter and will again today reach near 70*. Won’t be sledding down the closed streets but soon ,possibly, may be able to kayak down them!

      Thanks again for your help.

      • Cinandjules (NY) says:

        It’s very confusing.

        The numbers represent what materials are use to manufacture the container…and for us, the consumer, how to recycle.

        #2 is HDPE plastic. Some #2 is food grade, some aren’t. If the manufacturer uses recycled HDPE then it isn’t food grade. If any non food material product is stored in it…ie cat litter..it is no longer food grade. HDPE plastic is slightly porous and will absorb the chemicals of whatever was originally stored inside of it and leach it back into whatever you place into it!

        So a good rule of thumb is…if the container originally held food…it’s good. If not, I personally wouldn’t.

        Again, we do use the kitty litter pails for our Mt House stash and canned food. There is no direct food contact.

  22. Pleinguy says:

    I really like the subdued colors in the landscape. They are much more likely to capture a mood. Well done!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thank you. I appreciate that compliment, especially coming from an artist.

      You have a nice blog, BTW. I like the format, the content, and the voice behind it.

  23. Betty Shea says:

    Those pix are just beautiful and especially of Bridget….just makes you want to hug her!!

  24. Jean in OR says:

    Bridget is beautiful,as pretty as Pherne.Your desert pix are also lovely, but Bridge wins Le CprdonBpleu! It must be the subject ,after, according to the jury!

  25. Lynn Brooks says:

    Dear Sue,
    All your photos are great – even the “dark” ones! They all have a story to tell!!
    Re: your insurance- I’m counting the hours- minutes & seconds until I can be covered by Medicare!!! This $500 – $600/ month for health insurance is killing me!!!
    I’ve been a licensed life & health insurance agent for more than 35 years & reading about Medicare drives me BONKERS!!! AND I KNOW WHAT THEY’RE TALKING ABOUT!!!!
    I actually have a meeting scheduled w/a Medicare Insurance Specialist to figure out what I’m going to need!
    THANKS FOR YOUR INFO!!! VERY HELPFUL!!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Lynn, but don’t take anything I say about insurance as advice. The readers who commented about insurance seem to know what they’re talking about.

      What a relief it will be to get out from under that huge outlay for insurance every month. Years ago I didn’t realize to what extent I was a slave to credit card companies until the last payment was made. Hallelujah, amen! I suspect you’ll feel something similar when you qualify for Medicare.

      Thanks for the remark on my photos. Glad you liked them.

  26. Timber n' me says:

    Well Sue I just received in the mail a temporal VA go to any doctor I want card, but must get the ok first. I’d love to get the bad teeth out and some “new” ones in, if that’s included in the Plan. I’ll give em a call and see. Those photo’s are great. Have great evening and give HRH Bridget a BIG HUG from us ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,me

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Good luck with the call to the VA. Thanks on the photos. You have a great evening, too. Beautiful sunset here tonight. Hope you saw it, too. Hug to Timber!

  27. Lisa W says:

    Sue, as usual a great post. Your current wash reminds me of one on our land, it too is shady with a lot of branches. In some places ours is 10 feet deep and dark!
    And great photos today, even the moody ones. I think Bridget has lost some weight since that picture was taken.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thank you, Lisa W.,

      It sounds like your deep wash is well on its way to being called a canyon. I photograph what we experience and when the day is dark, well, that’s what I post. 🙂

  28. PookieBoy says:

    Sue you want to see some bad dressed folks just go to Walmart……
    I do like your pictures even they are dark and dreary….we’ve had rain here for
    about 10 straight days and Im ready for some sunshine…
    Keep up the good work! Luv ya!

  29. edlfrey says:

    Sue,

    If my suggested 4,000′ camps are to cold for you you might look at Buenos Aires NWR near Arivaca, AZ. Or maybe Las Cienegas NCA near Sonoita, AZ.

    You expressed an interest in Chiricahua N.M. That will start getting a lot of visitors in March so the last couple of weeks in February may be a good time but it could be cold at night. There are not many camp sites at Cochise Stronghold, and it is at 5,000′, so it could be cold at night also but it does not get as much visitor traffic. That may be a place to camp in March and do a day trip to Chiricahua N.M.

    I have not been in that area much for many years but grew up in the Sulphur Springs Valley so have been all over that part of Arizona in my younger years.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Good information, Ed. Your comment points out a big reason why I haven’t camped in southeastern Arizona yet. It looks tricky to coordinate the timing with the elevation, and the camps that suit are not one-after-another. By that I mean, they are “dead ends” (not on the way to somewhere else) necessitating backtracking. Not a big deal though. Ajo and Why are “dead ends,” too, so I’m being silly. 🙂

      I’m coming to the point where in order to have solitude and privacy, I have to camp where the conditions are not as good, such as too cold. Bummer. I can’t do RV parks. I’m amazed at your level of tolerance with close neighbors. “You’re a better man than I am, Gunga Din!”

      Anyway…. I’m going to get out my Arizona Benchmark and study your suggestions. I appreciate you sharing your knowledge and experience, Ed.

    • Bill&Ann says:

      Cochise Stronghold is a beautiful place to camp. On the east side of the mountain. There are even boondock sites just north of the main campground. Very nice hiking. We were there the year before last.

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Thanks, Bill & Ann. I’ve been watching the weather for that area as well as Las Cienegas. Nippy in the morning!

  30. K & B in CO says:

    Even on a gray day, the photos look great. Thanks for sharing your photos and your day in the life.

    We are finally on our way south for our first winter snowbird trip. Day one was from home to Raton, NM, where we camped in snow and mud. Day 2 brings us to Elephant Butte. We enjoyed our first desert sunset a couple hours ago. Beautiful.

    Cheers!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, K & B in CO,

      Your first day out was less than perfect. That means your camps will get better and better! The crew and I also camped at Elephant Butte in our early days on the road. That’s a nice area.

      And your first desert sunset…. fantastic! New experiences keep us alert and alive and you are on your way to many more. Enjoy!

  31. Rattlesnake Joe says:

    I do most of my clothes shopping at Good Will. Some of these stores are GREAT most are run down throw away junk. Find a good one and get the Senior discount on a certain day. As for leaky one gallon water jugs, I would buy the Arizona Tea for the nice taste and keep the empty for drinking water. I use a 7 gallon jug for my Reverse Osmosis 25 cents a gallon out of the machine but only fill it up with 5 gallons of water. I can’t lift like I use to and don’t want to get a hernia.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Joe,

      I’ve been using the Arizona Tea jugs for a couple of years now. You can see one of them by the doorstep in the last photo of this post.

      A few were old and that’s why they sprung leaks. The plastic becomes brittle. I like that they only hold a gallon.

      I haven’t purchased the containers sold for the purpose of holding water because they are too big and cumbersome. Five gallons of water weighs almost 42 pounds. I can see why you don’t fill up to 7 gallons.

      I suppose I could look for containers that hold only 2 gallons. That would be okay.

  32. DesertGinger says:

    Tomorrow my last full day here. This morning I had lost the 12 I gained plus 8 more. Going the right way! Got to get my portable oxygen needs sorted out tomorrow so I can check out Tuesday. Eager to get going and get home. And I’m scheduled to work Wednesday.

    I’m considering driving over to Quartzsite on the weekend, just to check things out. I want to get out and about and not be sick!

    Oka, going to watch tv a bit. Love to all.

  33. AZ Jim says:

    I liked your description of how you felt walking that wash through the scrub brush and trees. I know that feeling. Missy, when I was out on the road I had two 5 Gallon water containers that were thick walled and would never leak. Might ultimately be a good investment for you. I’m watching the Superbowl Sunday too. I hope Seattle will better New England. Hope you find a hot spot so you get to watch also. Take the day off blogging and enjoy it, but remember just that one day….;0

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Jim,

      Five gallons of water is heavy. I could lift it, no problem, but I always try to avoid hefting anything that might twist my back or something. I’d consider 2-gallon or 3-gallon containers to keep the weight down. I could have a larger container in the PTV and transfer water via smaller containers, using a funnel. Seems like a lot of trouble though.

      Or I could drink Arizona Tea! 🙂

      I don’t relate to sports. For me, watching sports on TV is right under discussing insurance. I’m happy for those who are entertained by it though.

  34. Pamela K. says:

    Hi Sue.
    About your UHC policy… While it states that you are insured in all states,that may be somewhat misleading although still true! Here’s an example:
    Your policy is for your home state, let’s say South Dakota, and is based on that home-state’s rates. Then you travel to New York City, NY, and find yourself in need of ER services. The cost of services in NYC, NY are vastly different than in Rapid City SD. Now what? Often the cost-point spread difference is a cost % you will have to carry out of your own pocket or through and added supplement policy. So then, while you ARE insured in all states, you may NOT be fully cost-applied when traveling outside of your home-state. Blue Cross Blue Shield was a huge company to make that fact known AFTER the fact many years ago. And if I remember correctly they had to pay fines dearly for not disclosing it BEFORE hand. Now it is all there fine print, or used to be when we had them. We also had UHC but I don’t think I ever had a need to collect on it, it was second to my ex-husband’s policy through me.
    Anyway… give UHC a call.
    Ask ~What IF~ I travel from Radip City, SD to NYC, NY, and have a need for ER services. Are my rates for co-pay and full coverage the same across both states for me while I am vacationing in NYC? Their answer may, indeed, be a surprising one! One that would be good to know about BEFORE you ever should have a need to know;)
    Hope this info-tip helps. Seriously, please do call them and ask that question!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks, Pamela, for explaining all this. I realize you gave an extreme example, using NYC, to make your point. (I’ll never go to NYC again.)

      I’ll never have all my “bases covered,” whether it’s insuring against medical costs or eliminating other risks in my life. I should call an expert, as you and Ginger suggest, in order to obtain a clearer picture of what I’m paying for, what I shouldn’t pay for, what I’m not getting with my present insurance, etc.

      • Pamela K. says:

        Sue,
        LOL, yes, NYC was used to showcase the high costs of everything, health care, rents, etc., as compared to else where for out-of-pocket costs. As for going there, I’m with you, not my choice of places to work, live or visit.
        Anyway, years ago I broke my hand in one state while caught in a thunderstorm. Again in another state, same hand. While I had the same healthcare provider coverage the costs were vastly different regarding my out-of-pocket expenses for the same kind of treatment and care. So LOCATION DOES play a huge role in the costs of what the policy will cover. My husband was a college instructor for several years. I would guess that his coverage was much like yours was/is through UHC back then.

    • DesertGinger says:

      That would be illegal, because sue is Medicare. The way any insurer can participate with medicare patients is to provide the same coverages as others in the group. So, I take BCBS group F. Medicare provides a list of required services for level F and all insurance companies who want to can provide a policy and price.

      Medicare controls all this. Independent companies do jot have the option to do what Pamela is describing.

      • Pamela K. says:

        DesertGinger,
        Private companies and HMOs most assuredly DO do that and if it disclosed in writing in the policies it IS legal. I do not know about Medicare as i am not on it yet. But I do know about UHC and Blue Cross/Blue Shield… Especially Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Minnesota. See, Blue Cross/Blue Shield is by states. Once out of your home state they can and do exceed the costs of coverage to you for any overage care costs. It has gone to court many times and was usally upheld on appeal.

        • Pamela K. says:

          Sue, seems to have both UHC and Medicare policies. One would be primary in first pay and the other would be secondary in payouts. For private policies or group employment policies it is policy itself and their underwriters who set the terms and costs, not Medicare.

  35. Toni says:

    Well, here in the Northeast, we’re getting ready for a monster blizzard. The hype causes mass hysteria at the grocery stores as if there won’t be a scrap of food to be found forever and a day after the storm. I’ve lived here all my life and have been through some horrific weather and don’t recall ever hearing of people who have starved to death. There are other dangers with the weather to be concerned about like losing power.

    I have to go to the grocery store today as a matter of routine and I am dreading it. Crowds with full shopping carts, no parking places or loaves of bread to be had…so silly.

    • I know what you mean, Toni! In the Northwest, that happens when there’s a threat of snow–even if it’s less than an inch. And usually, the forecasted weather doesn’t happen. Yup, no reported deaths from starvation…sadly, carbon monoxide poisoning, yes.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Toni and Dawn,

      Oh my, you should see the way people act in Florida and Georgia when snow flurries or freezing temperatures are in the forecast. The tension in the stores can be cut with a knife!

      The fear in Georgia is a fear of black ice, which is dangerous, for sure. However, it never lasts very long. People stock up as if for a long siege that may last ’til Spring, and then the shelves are quickly depleted of supplies for latecomers.

      • Pamela K. says:

        Sue, I had to laugh out loud about Fla and GA…it is SO true!!!
        And to make things even worse everyone goes home early from work at the same time too, making a new rush-hour madness.
        …Then there is the Good Ol’ Southern Bubba/Bubbette who believes This-H’re-Truck can fly over snow and ice and never slide or crash. As if that truck had fireblowers on its tires and could melt the snow/ice just by going fast enough.
        No cure for Stupid 😉

    • Cinandjules (NY) says:

      The problem is there isn’t a place to put the predicted amount of snow that falls.
      We have an acre and we have trouble stategically placing the snow!

      Traveling will be affected…so you cant just get in your car and go to the store…and the trucks can’t deliver the goods to replenish the shelves.

      People get stuck on the highways….snowplow can’t get thru to plow…and they end up abandoning their vehicles, because they aren’t prepared. Which creates a bigger problem. Buffalo towed 220 vehicles off the thruway during the last storm.

      Having items in your cupboard…for the rainy day is best!

      Stay home and don’t be part of the problem! Can you tell I was a first responder? 😉

  36. Sue, I love the photos of the wash but am glad you listened to your inner voice. I’m sure you’ve honed that skill to a fine art over the years. There’s a 40% chance of rain here in Q today. We’ll go into town to do our laundry & have breakfast. Will also make a stop at a little craft shop–I have a knitting conundrum that is driving me bonkers & it looks like a good place to get my mojo back! We love our little spot here so much we’re going to stay for another 2 weeks. Will have to hook up & go dump one of these days but the toilet hasn’t burped yet so we’re good.

    Love the photo of Bridget–she’s such a sweetie girl. Even when she’s not…

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Good luck at the laundry, Dawn. It was an all-out state of war the last time I was at the laundromat in Quartzsite. I don’t know if you read my post about that. The place was crowded and people were very competitive about the machines. Scary.

      Two very important lessons learned that day:

      (1) Never walk away from your clothes while they are in the washer or the dryer.

      (2) Never remove a stranger’s wet clothes from a dryer.

      • Oh Lord–I remember that! It wasn’t quite that bad today but it was BUSY in there! The person on duty walked around with a megaphone announcing that the clothes in dryers 6 & 7 would be removed if the person using them didn’t get their clothes out of the dryer. The guilty party was probably in the restaurant having brekkie! We worked so fast getting our things out of the dryer & folded so we could get out of there that I felt like I needed a shower when we got back to our rig! I’ve never seen anything like it!

  37. “When you hear the scary music, don’t go down the stairs.” Pearls of wisdom from my mother that I have always heeded! Glad you photographed some of the trees though, they’re very cool. I carried cancer insurance for 15 years on the job. It was only $30/month and never increased. Like you, I could never cancel it……because it was “working”!
    I so love a soft pink world. Whether dawn or dusk, it is such a sweet gift to enjoy – and to share (thank you). Maybe it’s a “rose colored glasses” thing, but I just can’t find fault with the world when it’s pink 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Jodee,

      I carried cancer insurance for years and then dropped it. Soon after I found out that I needed surgery for cancer. That was a $15,000 lesson. I’m hesitant to cancel my present policy, even if the bill is covered by other insurance I have.

      Not a pink world here this morning. It’s raining. That’s good, too. The joy is found in the change.

  38. weather says:

    Nestled among the troupe before I went to sleep I had a sudden thought of spring rain storms.I smiled and didn’t remember that until sunrise .As the light spread the brown tree bark became visible,yesterday it had still looked black from the same distance.Over night the slight change in angle of how sun meets world had come.Well, color me happy!

    Yes because I’d been there to watch and discern the difference, felt it’s promise being given to me,yet more because I’d been prepared last evening to really know what it held. Winter here is beautiful and today I clearly saw spring at the same time for a few seconds as thought overlaid the view I stepped into.It was so real that afterward I didn’t know where my cup was.I’d left my coffee somewhere without noticing anything other than the picture I was in.

    With every “I wonder what that looks like now”-the wood on an old railing-the trees lining the road-the places where light shows more every few minutes-I discovered new hues appearing everywhere.My boy dog has been excited during recent days,which of course gets all of us involved.More skipping feet,fluttering wings,kitty romps and all-I’d attributed it to a new dog in the ‘hood.This morning the wildlife’s activity having increased ,too,made me see.They know things,Sue,like the birds that visit you do.Hope your coffee and morning are wonder-ful…seems to be the word for the day.Oh,yeah,finally found my cup,think I’ll drink this refill with this screen as my view.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Your comments are like a blog within a blog, weather. Thank you for my daily “fix” of mornings in New York state. You revive my memories of childhood.

      Oh yes, the animals, both wild and domesticated (or both!), are more aware than we ever will be. Paying attention to their behaviors is never wasted time or energy. You know that. Funny how your “boy dog” has stirred up excitement in your diverse household. Spike used to do that, too. 🙂

      “I wonder what it looks like now.” That’s what I’m doing as we approach a camp we’ve had in the past. Anticipating something new… That’s the way you live, weather, and I admire you for that, among other things.

      Time for my second cup of java…

      • Shirlene says:

        Good Morning Weather, exited boy dog at the adventure of a new dog in the neighborhood…A friend once told me that dogs can communicate to each other in the neighorhood. Sounds like your boy is excited to have a new conversation to listen to, as I am when I get to see a new post from Sue, or a new prose from you….have a good day…enjoy the refill you are going after as I am going after one also…hugs.

      • weather says:

        You meant my comments are like finding stories here,didn’t you?I guessed that as it’s the closest comparison I could think of.It’s not likely I’ll ever participate in anyone’s blog except yours,I’ve read many.

        My cup actually has writing on it,”Choose an author as you would a friend”,you’re the only one in this genre that I responded to because I follow the cups advice.Since I can barely tell the difference between the front and back of a camera and most folks would be indifferent,at best,to what interests me,I certainly can’t imagine a reason to have one .

        Earlier I thought about Chino Valley,your feeling peace every time you drove through there.It’s cold at night there now and I wondered if at some point you expected to return to it.The places I revisit are always chosen for what they give me-your blog,you, holds some of the best I’ve received…

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Yes, I’m entertained, enlightened, and inspired by your “stories.” As readers have said to me, I say to you, “You’ve taught me so much!”

          Your memory of former posts astounds me. Chino Valley? We may go through there again as it is on a handy north-south route. I wouldn’t drive there expressly with the intent of recapturing the peace I felt there in the past.

          You know how it is with transient gifts. Seek them too pointedly and they elude you. This road of vagabonding will take us to peaceful places.

          I like your coffee cup’s wisdom. 🙂

  39. Applegirl NY says:

    Yes, I agree. Listen when you’re inner voice tells you something. You have nothing to lose by being careful.

    I love the picture of Bridget, I can almost smell the greenness of those lovely purple and yellow flowers. We’re expecting 8-14 inches of snow tonight, so any more lovely fresh green pics you send along, would be wonderful.

    Our health insurance went up to $928 per month (for the lowest premium plan out there- very high deductible – terrible plan). Don’t get me going…….. I don’t even know how we do it, to be honest. So discouraging. Grateful that we’re healthy.

    Take care, everyone, and if you’re on the east coast, hang in and stay safe.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Good morning, Applegirl NY,

      Good heavens, $928 a month! I could live on that amount, if I had to!

      I rarely read the news anymore. I did check last night and became aware of the snow expected for New York state. I know you New Yorkers can handle these onslaughts.

      Those “lovely fresh green pics” will have to come from my photo archives. Rain here today.

      Don’t get stuck in the snow. Take care. Be safe.

    • Cinandjules (NY) says:

      Health insurance…..get this. Our health insurance is paid for IF we stayed in CA. Once we moved to NY the monthly cost was $1600 each with Blue Cross thru our dept.

      We opted out and got our own policy from Blue Cross in NY for $1200 for both!

      CA continues to pay for our dental, eyes and hearing.

      • Applegirl NY says:

        Crazy insurance stuff! Hey CinandJules, we are in the Albany area, so if you’re ever down this way and want to check out our Freedom Deluxe, we’d love to show it to you, otherwise you can wait until next summer when we’re up north.

        • Cinandjules (NY) says:

          Sounds great!

          Have a safe trip south! Do you have fur kids that travel with you?

          • Applegirl NY says:

            We have two springer spaniels that we may or may not take with us. Since it is our first trip out with the Casita, we’re not sure. We were planning to bring them, but we thought if we wanted to take off for a full day, it may be difficult. The jury is still out. We have family that are staying at our home while we are away – to take care of my elderly mother who lives with us. They are happy to take care of the critters, but I do worry about leaving them for such a long period of time. What to do, what to do.

            • DesertGinger says:

              You have an FD? Are you thinking of selling? I will probably be in Albany sometime this summer.

            • Applegirl NY says:

              Hi! We just bought it last year, and we’re heading out on our maiden voyage in a few weeks to get out of the cold, so unless we really don’t like it, we’re planning to keep it for many years. I’m sure we’ll be reporting in on our travels.
              It’s hard here in the Northeast to find a good used Casita. We had to drive all the way to Indiana to pick it up – after months of searching locally. We would be happy to show it to you when you’re in town.

  40. Mary says:

    Sue you do not need cancer insurance, I have UNC and just had an operation for Ovarian cancer and they covered everthing.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Mary,

      I’m assuming you mean UHC. If so, I’m very pleased to know that. Thank you for sharing your experience.

      I’m not happy though about you needing an operation. What an ordeal for you! I’m glad you weren’t burdened with the astronomical cost of surgery. Needing medical care is bad enough!

      I wish you well and happy, Mary.

      • DesertGinger says:

        Sue, your insurance is driving me nuts! If your cancer insurance pays medical costs, see below. If it is a policy that gives you cash when you are I’ll with covered illnesses, that’s a different thing. What is it?

        Now that you have Medicare and a medicare supplement policy, then you have to be like all the rest of us. If your supplement policy is group F, then you need nothing else. Group F covers everything. If not group F, then we would need to research what your cancer policy pays for, and what your chosen coverage group (not F) covers. Do you know if your supplement group is F?

        You are a smart woman and this is not hard stuff. Do you really want to pay a monthly premium for something that may not help you, or not be covered for something you need?

        All the rest of you…Sue is on Medicare. If you are not sharing info about Medicare and Medicare policies, please stop muddying the water.

        Tell me when you start to stink, ok Sue?

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          I don’t know anything about Group F. I’ll try to force myself to dig out that insurance stuff again. I can’t promise anything soon.

          Right now I’m up to my eyeballs trying to figure out where we are going to live for the next few weeks where we won’t freeze in the morning and where everyone else is not.

          Okay, everybody, That doesn’t mean I want a gazillion suggestions where to camp.

  41. Hi Sue! Actually, I also loved the “moody” images of the desert! They reminded me of the time I was hand coloring my B&W images for art shows! I used to love to do that! But I had my own darkroom back then… oh well, now I have photoshop to play with. Your moody images reflected the many faces of the desert. I am glad you listened to your inner self about the possible dangers lurking in that wash! Smart Lady 🙂
    I had to change my email address, I was hacked. Sheeesh! I will email it to you! Bridget has most assuredly slimmed down since that photo of her in today’s post! Good to see!
    Good to see everybody here today

    • Shirlene says:

      Hi Geri….. 🙂

      • Hi Shirlene! We are still in Crystal River, where are you?

        • Shirlene says:

          Hi Geri, we are back in Southern California….By January 2017, we are planning on being in CR for 4 months, as I will be retired….I hope it will be on your stop again by then…I would love to share some time with you.

          We will be there again next January, but only for one week….Homossa also has some nice RV parks down hwy 91 I think it is…Down by the State Park. I have a friend there that is thinking of buying a small RV park down on the River..that would be nice for us too.

        • Applegirl NY says:

          Hey Geri Moore-Hajek, We’ll be in Ocala National Forest in a few weeks, if you’re still in central Fla, maybe our paths will cross. We’ll also be heading down to Fort DeSoto and then to Amelia Island.

          • We will be here in Crystal River until the end f March, then we head down to Sarasota and our volunteer job at Myakka River State Park April May and June! August and Sept will find us in the Florida panhandle volunteering at St. George Island State Park! A campground on the Gulf will be a very good investment for your friends!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Geri,

      That hacked email gave me the creeps. Sorry that happened to you. Great news about tossing the cane! And I’m happy to see you’re able to write a comment with your computer all better. Gee, you and Chuck have had a spate of setbacks the past few months. They seem to come in bunches, don’t they. Now you’ve “paid your dues” and the future is bright!

      Keep getting better and keep in touch!

  42. Shirlene says:

    Good Morning Sue, I hope you are enjoying your coffee as much as I am, reading the blog, sipping away, wondering what the day will bring…Actually, there are storm clouds here this morning, coming up from Mexico…still warm though, 80 degrees yesterday, with storm clouds coming in, huh…feels like a summer storm…but strong winds, and smell of smoke in the air from a fire driven by the winds, must be Winter in Southern Californa….Stay safe, and I hope the winds that just left us don’t find you until you have moved and settled into a new home…

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Shirlene,

      Good morning to you, too! I am enjoying my coffee, as I always do, reading and replying to comments.

      The smell of smoke = winter in southern California. Too bad that’s true….

      I hope your day is all you’d want it to be and more!

  43. R. (Western Colorado/now in Ajo) says:

    I finally returned to read your posts and I’m today #123. RVSue, if you get to Organ Pipe drive slowly, take your time. This is what my husband did before our hike and we were lucky enough to see and take several close up photos of Gila Monster.

    Is it going to rain soon? Love rain in a desert

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, R.,

      Now you’re in Ajo? Isn’t it nice?

      It’s raining at our camp as I type this. A light but steady rain, soothing to hear on the roof.

      I was going to go to Organ Pipe yesterday or today. I didn’t due to the dim light and now rain. Even though we’re supposed to move out of here tomorrow, I may stretch it a day or two more in order to go to Organ Pipe. The solitude and peace of this camp is hard to leave!

      I’ll take your advice and look for the monsters.

  44. susan says:

    I rarely post and don’t ever have the time to wade through all of the posts. . . haven’t seen/heard anything about a new member of the crew lately. Like you, I was a bit put off that rescues get first call on dogs up for adoption – somehow doesn’t seem right to me either. So, I’m wondering if you have put off the hunt for awhile? I’m sure Bridge would love a new traveling companion.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Susan,

      I can understand not having the time to keep up with all my posts and all the comments. I haven’t given up the search for a new crew member. Our location in the desert has suspended the search temporarily as animal shelters and rescues are not in this area.

      Bridget would have her “new traveling companion” if it weren’t so dang hard to obtain one.

  45. Elizabeth in WA says:

    Sue, I forgot to mention that one issue for me that worries us, is hubby has checked and my high blood pressure medication is not covered with Medicare…and not sure our insurance will then either…and it is expensive as I cannot use the generic in that particular medication. The assumption is out there than most folks are like machines…one size fits all. And that is so far from the truth for me anyway. I am working on loosing weight…for other reasons too…but in hopes I can take less meds anyway. Would love to get off entirely. But high blood pressure does run some in my family, so it may not work. But trying anyway…before I turn 65 and have less choice.

    • DesertGinger says:

      All medications are covered by someone. If you go to Medicare.gov they have a place you can enter your drug online and find companies that cover it. Or your doc can switch. I’ve been on 3 since I went on Medicare. I had one, then lisinopril and now metoprolol. I wouldn’t worry much about it. The drug insurance companies revise they’re covered drugs list constantly.

      • Elizabeth in WA says:

        I have already been on some others…I am not willing to switch. Even if we have to move out of this country!! I am allergic to many things….many foods, and other things like coloring, etc, so I assume my problem probably has to do with that. But this well, lets experiment with this and just see how you do does not fly with me. I have been on this med for years…and so far so good. No reason to upset the apple cart. We shall see how it goes with hubby who just turned 65. We already know his top 2 docs are NOT on medicare list. So there is something else to deal with somehow. And this is freedom to choose?? REALLY?? He worked like a dog all his work years, for mostly awful bosses….SO WE COULD HAVE GOOD INSURANCE in our old age…ha! yea….it irks the tar out of me that WE KEPT OUR END OF THE BARGAIN, Ginger and I expect they should as well….I think he should have worked a civilian job rather than for the military etc (worked as a civilian for the military, not as IN the military)….at least he would have made gobs more money and we could then afford whatever we needed. Oh well….it is what it is. We have learned the lesson well: no good deed goes unpunished.

  46. BadgerRickInWis says:

    Sounds like the scary part of the story was the trip to the Dollar Store. I don’t blame you for making a run for it. I figure anywhere that sells clothes with sequins or for that matter any place where people wear clothes with sequins means I’m in the wrong place.

    I’m going to miss this camp, it sounds like it has been one of your favorites. But at the same time of course I can’t wait to see what comes next. Please bow and kiss the paw of HRH, you’re always in my thoughts.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Yeah, the Dollar Store is a special kind of hell. I must have been demon possessed to think I wanted to enter that place.

      I’m glad you enjoyed reading about this camp. It is one of my favorites. HRH acknowledges your subservience with a slight nod of her royal head.

      • A gal in Maple Valley, WA says:

        Hi Sue,

        Keep hoping to see a photo of Bridget that you drew a tiara on.
        We all probably think she wears one anyway. Maybe that’s why she ditches the camera; she isn’t “fully” attired 🙂

      • Elizabeth in WA says:

        Just went by the Dollar Tree…hubby went in to get some Sudoku books and I noticed a sign on the door that you now can shop them online. Just in case that matters. I cannot handle going in there very much either. Too overwhelming colors and too bright lights. But we usually get cards, Sudoku books, and spring water (cheapest consistent price in these parts). Well, I am with you on the clothing these days…but most of it is not worth taking home, even from expensive shops as the cloth is doing well to hold up to a dozen washings. I have gotten some of my nicest things at a thrift. And I surely like the prices. I have gotten jeans at Walmart but have found some I like the looks of better anyway in a catalog. Will try them next.

  47. edlfrey says:

    There has been a lot of discussion about Medicare here today. Just by chance the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) made the following announcement today.

    The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced two big new goals this morning.

    It wants to tie more traditional, or fee-for-service, Medicare payments to quality or value through alternative payment models, such as Accountable Care Organizations or bundled payment arrangements — 30 percent of by the end of 2016, and 50 percent by the end of 2018.

    And it wants to tie traditional Medicare payments to quality or value through programs such as the Hospital Value-Based Purchasing and the Hospital Readmissions Reduction programs — 85 percent by 2016 and 90 percent by 2018.

    What I think this will mean to people using Medicare:
    1) There will be fewer services in order to max out payments.
    2) There will be fewer doctors and hospitals that will accept Medicare patients.
    3) There will most likely be an increase in the Medicare withholding from wages and and increase in the monthly Medicare premiums. (After the 2016 elections of course).

    The most obvious reason for the change is the Medicare Trust Fund will be depleted in 2016 – 2014 depending on who is doing the accounting.

    • Elizabeth in WA says:

      Well, it is very apparent that this society is not much in favor of people living very long!! That should help this goal too, Ed….thanks for the update.

    • Pamela K. says:

      Ed,
      I completely agree with your thinking about this.
      All one had to do was look around and see all the new health care clinics and hospitals under construction – they would not be building them if they thought the future profit dollars were not going to be there. Of course the government is not going to provide those profits and neither is the corporate structure…that only leaves us, the common consumer to foot those costs and their profits. The hoppitals and clinics cried loudly about the National Health Care Plans BUT they also read the fine print on the wall and saw that new streams of profit were quickly behind the new horizon! In today’s society old people, people with illnesses and even young children are not workforce ready people, meaning they all have little to no real value as consumers other than healthcare related costs. It was a foreseen natural that the COSTS would be handed off the non-workforce group. Some studies have even gone so far as to suggest that it is all a part of the Shadow Market thinking. If you cannot work and still have great expenses then people turn to more creative ways to pay for services. Rise in crime rates due to added pressures to pay for everything personally. Sad really, what we have become as a society. In the same way that Freedom Is Never Free, the Free Market is never free either.
      IMHO, we have become a Grab It While You Can Get It society and the court systems are supporting that thinking from the bench rulings. I worry for the younger generations.

  48. mohave rat says:

    # 163! yippee! sure do make me want to go over to Arizona for a weekend. Damn pretty pictures Ms Sue.

  49. Diann in MT says:

    Northeastern Blogorinos!
    You are in my heart and prayers. Stay safe.

  50. Shirlene says:

    Good Morning Sue, Lively Medicare comments yesterday…I am medicare age but am still working for another year and then I have to make the big decision about what plans…reading this today enlightened me and continues to enlighten me..one of the things that this blog continues to contribute…thanks to you all who have come before and know what you are talking about. DG I count you in on this most, as you are going through it right now…good advice from you…

    Sue, I hope the rain has passed you or is hitting you lightly, rained most of the night in Southern California, but still only got about 0.2 inches…stay dry and warm with Bridget.
    As for the Noreasterners…My blessing are with you during this storm, stay home and safe..looks awful on the news reports, but then again, sensationalism is #1 on CNN..ha…

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Good morning, Shirlene,

      Yes, we had plenty of rain here in the desert. I’m glad my blog continues to inform and be of value.

  51. weather says:

    The hillside looked happy this morning,it took a few seconds to see what it used to express that.It was wearing light green shadows in place of simpler greys.The pines were helping by swinging their branches just enough to catch to and reflect all the sunlight.I like the way they pause a bit at the bottom of each arch as if reminding that they can be ridden.As the day warms surely birds and squirrels will accept their invitation.

    It struck me that’s how sitting at the wheel riding toward anywhere feels when it’s light out.Good morning, Sue.I wonder if that’s part of why Bridget gets so excited about getting into the PTV,because that’s when you two share that mood.Her excitedly running in circles about it always makes me smile when you mention it.Are you going anywhere today?

    • Shirlene says:

      Good Morning Weather, thanks for the literally peek into what you see in your world this morning…Glad it seems to be much happier and brighter than most are describing in the East today. Although I think it would take quite an awfully big weather event to dampen your view on the Lake and sights around you. Have a warm and happy day. 🙂

      • weather says:

        Hope all those that were affected by storm are OK .I’ve been praying that they would be.Hope you have a happy day,too!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, weather,

      To answer your question whether we are going anywhere today… I’ve put off moving camp in hopes that the sky will clear enough for a drive around Organ Pipe today. It rained heavily yesterday and the clouds are still here, although there’s a bit of blue to the south. After a day inside due to rain, Bridget and I will enjoy an excursion.

      I’m going to fix some breakfast for me (worked on the next blog post first thing this morning) and then we’ll take a drive to see what we will see. Thanks for another scene from your home’s viewpoint. . . and good morning to you, too!

  52. Annie says:

    Oh I hear you about insurance! It’s almost painful when I get insurance mail but I know I have to open it eventually!

  53. Rusty says:

    Clear up a bit on the medicare plan info. Medicare (often referred to as Original Medicare) has Part A, Part B, Part C, and Part D.
    Part A – generally covers Hospital coverage. It does have out of pocket costs for the member. Run by the government. Usually free due to the number of quarters you have worked over your lifetime.
    Part B – generally covers Medical (doctors) coverage. It has a deductible ($147 for 2015) and then you pay 20% afterwards, no limit. Most people pay $104 for Part B, which is deducted from your social security check. If you had a high income, you might pay more than $104.
    Part C – Medicare Advantage plans – offered by insurance companies. It replaced Part A and Part B, although you still pay for Part B. It often has Part D included in it. These are regulated by Federal government. Has more cost sharing built into these plans.
    Part D – Prescription drug coverage. Offered by insurance companies but overseen by the Federal government (CMS). Has the “doughnut hole” people talk about.

    Medicare supplement plans (medigap) – fills in some/all of the out of pocket expenses that Part A and Part B have. These plans usually have a letter name: Plan F, Plan G, Plan N.

    People will either have the following:
    Part A, Part B, Medicare Supplement, Part D
    or
    Part A, Part B, Part C (medicare advantage – with Part D included).

    Quick overview –
    Medigap plans are like buffet restaurants – Typically higher month premiums, but lower/no out of pocket expenses for doctors/hospitals. Buffet in that you pay more upfront, but you can put whatever (medical services approved by Medicare) on your plate for little/no extra charge.

    Medicare advantage plans are like cafeteria style restaurants. Meaning you pay very low premiums or none at all. However, there is more cost sharing when you start using the coverage. Cafeteria style being that you pay little/nothing to get in line (monthly premium), but you pay more as you put more on your plate.

    Hope that help some people Sue. Love reading your posts.
    Rusty

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thank you, Rusty.

    • DesertGinger says:

      This is a good outline with one important factoid left out.

      Medicare parts A and B, with medigap supplement…can be used anywhere in US.

      Medicare Advantage…which is Part C (A & B included) is only good in residence state…yo of state you have emergency care only

    • JazzLoverWMa says:

      Rusty,
      Thanks for breaking this down so some of us can understand it better. Realize it is pretty simple but like RVSue it gives me a headache if I read it for too long. The same thing can be explained in more than one way and depends on many things, age, working, retired, part of the country, etc. Was simple for my late husband, a 20 year veteran of the Air Force, between Medicare & being a vet, he was taken care of. Getting a tad more sticky as time goes on. Love your references to buffet and cafeteria style plans. I am going to print yours out and keep it where I can refer to it when needed. Thank You for your service to our country. Know my reply here is a fews days late, got behing reading the 300 coments.
      JazzLover

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