Summertime projects for the crew, the birds, and me

The rainbarrel is here!

Shortly after delivery to our front door, I cut open the box, pull out the rainbarrel, carry it through the house to the back patio, and put it in place.

Ooh, I like it!

Immediately I take a photo to send to Nancy in Florida.

The grapes are ripening.  

And, darn, something is attacking them.  What, I don’t know.

I see no worms, fruit flies, lizards or birds munching on them.

Of course that doesn’t mean they aren’t.

Bats during the night?  The heat during the day?  Who knows.  I’m going to pick some today before it’s too late.

Anyway . . . .

I’m very pleased with the rainbarrel.  

It’s looks natural and right in the spot I’ve chosen for it.

Mike the roofer continues to work on the roof, a few hours now and then, whenever rain, 100+ heat, and the more pressing needs of others don’t keep him away.

Both Mike and his helper are up on the roof this morning.

The rainbarrel will be installed when Mike replaces the fascia, flashing, gutters, and downspouts.  At that time I’ll take photos and write about preparing a raised platform for the barrel, inserting the spigot, and a bunch of other details. . . and, of course, follow up when water flows into it in a downpour.

By the way . . .

Reggie and Roger have bones and toys for chewing.  Roger also chews on sticks.  Now that the mesquite tree is dropping dried pods, the boys chew them, too.

I checked online to see if this is bad.  “Only if they eat a lot of them.”  After all, mesquite pods are an important food source for coyotes.  And people do eat mesquite powder.

Remember this?

The bird nest I discovered in our big mesquite a while back?

While trimming a branch yesterday, I notice another one!  How did I miss that?

This time I get a glimse of the homeowner.

“What the heck is that?”  

The house is almost completely empty of furniture.  The floors are tile.  You can imagine how sound is magnified with all these hard surfaces.

Well, I’m in the kitchen with Reggie and Roger when we perk up our ears at the sound of scratching.

Immediately I visualize a huge rat.

I run into the living room toward the scratching.

Behind the glass of the fireplace screen is a frantic little bird, fluttering and flailing in an attempt to escape.

Poor thing!

I open the glass doors and she flies to the living room window.  I take a couple photos, then fetch a dish towel from the kitchen.

I wrap her in the towel and carry her to the porch. Her heart beats so hard I can feel it through the towel.   But when I open the towel, the bird is motionless.

Oh, no!  Did it die of fright?

Instantaneously, the delicate creature comes to life and flies away.  Across the yard she flies.  Across the street she disappears among tree branches.

We have a bunch of finches and sparrows that live on our property.

Another essential purchase . . . 

Recent tasks around the yard make me realize that Nancy and I need a garden cart.  It isn’t smart or easy to heft large bags of heavy yard waste, piles of rocks for landscaping, soil amendments, mulch, stones, trees to be planted, etc.

I research online and decide on a cute but strong Gorilla Cart.

You can see it here:  Garden Dump Cart

Even though many Amazon reviewers complain about their difficulty assembling it, I decide to tackle the job myself rather than pay someone else to do it.

Gorilla Cart assembly is a topic for a future post.  Will it be The Thrill of Victory?

Or The Agony of Defeat?  Stay tuned!

The condition of the box upon arrival is poor (above).  Nevertheless, I dive into the task!

Watermelon wars!

Grocery stores in town are competing for offering the lowest price on watermelon.  I love watermelon so much that in the summertime I eat it every day.

I buy the little sweetheart and the big mama, too.

The lowest price I’ve found so far is $2.97 for the big seedless variety.  I like that the melons are grown in Arizona!

I record my obsession with melons in the October 12, 2017 post, “Green River Melon Fever.”

Countdown to the reunion!  

With Nancy’s and Marg’s arrival date set for August 18th, my motivation to get projects completed increases.

I’m  very busy lately, jumping from one project to another:  painting, weed-eating, tree-trimming, emptying the Best Little Trailer and bringing everything onto the patio or into the house for cleaning, sorting and organizing, assembling the Gorilla cart, and trips into town for supplies and visits to the library, although I haven’t had time or interest in movies the past few days.  Plus the usual tasks of grocery shopping, laundry and house-cleaning.

A daily thundershower is in the forecast for every day this week, along with cooler temperatures with highs only into the 80s.

I love it here.



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Coleman Screenhouse, 15 x 13 ft
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87 Responses to Summertime projects for the crew, the birds, and me

  1. Norman in San Diego says:


  2. I wanna be first!!!

  3. Vicki & Kitty campin' says:


  4. Ken Canada says:

    Hi Sue….
    Have a great day

  5. Ken in Queen Creek says:

    Hello Sue. Glad you are loving AZ. I do too

  6. suzago in PNW says:

    Hi Sue,
    It’s the last line that gets me: you love it there! So happy for you. Thanks for sharing all the zigs and zags of your journey.

  7. Little watermelons are around $5 here in SC… 🍉 they’ve been very sweet this Summer thanks to all the rain we’ve had here, I do believe this is the wettest July since I’ve been living here (20 + years now). I bet the birds are eating your grapes, 🍇 they got mine so often I just gave up and called them bird food 😃

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Elaine,

      I should think watermelons would be cheaper in SC. Even so, $5 is not much to pay for a good watermelon. Whatever is eating the grapes, they’re taking the inside and leaving the skin. I’m adopting your attitude. Grapes aren’t one of my favorites anyway. I’m eating a lot of other fruit in my smoothies.

  8. Columbus Calvin says:

    Hi, Sue! It looks as if the house and grounds are coming along nicely. The rain barrel is of interest to me as a tree hugger. Thanks for the picture; that makes it easy to understand.

    Reggie and Roger look like they’re having all the fun they want. That’s always fun to watch or see in your pictures. Speaking of picture, your header picture is beautiful. I know that one from staring at it before. Is that Southern Arizona?

    I’m glad you could help the bird.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Calvin,

      I have more photos of the barrel that I’m saving for the full report, start to fully operational.

      If you’re talking about the header photo with snow dusted on the mountains, that was taken along the road somewhere in northeastern NV, if I remember correctly. On the way to Wells perhaps? If you’re talking about the sunrise over the lake that was up before, that definitely was taken in NV…. Pahranaghat Nat. Wildlife Refuge a few miles south of Alamo, NV.

  9. jenny Johnson says:

    YAY — I am in the top 20 –count me in —You and the boys are having way too much fun

  10. Judy in East Texas says:

    Hi Sue and boys, I’m still following your blog and love your homeowner adventures as much as your vagabond travels.
    Can’t wait for the next installment.

    Stay safe out there my friend, judy

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thank you, Judy, for that friendly and encouraging comment! You stay safe, too. 🙂

  11. milliehubbard says:

    So happy to see your closing comment on this blog — “I love it here”.

    So very exciting for you Sue and your crew…they look very content on the blue mat. I’m sure there is still much to do in the next couple of weeks getting ready for your sister to arrive !!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I’m happy to see you here, millie!

      I was thinking about preparations for their arrival. I’ll have to ask Nancy for a grocery list. We’ve been apart so long I don’t have much of an idea what she eats or what her son (who is coming along to help with the move) eats.

      The morning of their arrival I’ll empty the bedroom of the seat cushions on the floor, the lounger, the computer table and chair, and the plastic dresser…. returning all to the BLT to make room for “real” furniture! 🙂

      • Lisa in San Diego says:

        will Nancy’s son need hired help to move the furniture inside?

        might be kind of heavy for him and two mature ladies to do

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Thoughtful of you to ask, Lisa. We’re hiring movers for loading in FL and unloading in AZ.

  12. weather says:

    How nice that sparrows and finches live there! Finches will sometimes just sip the juice from grapes. If you want to have the grapes left alone you could try leaving half an orange where birds can reach it. Good job capturing the finch without hurting it, they are so wee and delicate that isn’t easily done.

    Your first night in your new BLT was August 16th seven years ago.Nancy’s first night in her new home will be really close to that anniversary, neat! You’re making a lot of progress getting things ready before she gets there. I hope you aren’t stressing about having everything perfect by then. Other than the paint inside being done without furniture in the way I doubt she’ll care if the rest isn’t finished on time.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re right, weather. She won’t care. I do want the BLT cleaned up and put back in order before they come because the crew and I will sleep there for two nights while her son is with us.

      At least the grapes (and an orange) will provide liquid refreshment for the birds during hot days. I have my watermelon. 🙂

      Mid-August is a time of change, new challenges, and new worlds for us! Also, Spikey left us in August, a new world for him.

  13. Barb says:

    Oh Sue it is so great to catch up! Your new adventures are as wonderful as the past ones.
    Things here are quite — interesting. I have been promoted (YAY) and qualify for BENEFITS! After 6 mos of working 20+ hours a week I gained 2 full hours (!) of sick leave. In one month I have gained way more than that and INSURANCE. YAY!!! But some things have had to slide… you know how it goes.
    We are putting more goals of camping in our lives. If we don’t use the Moosee Mobile, we need to loose her… So goal is 1 weekend per month even if it is 20 miles from home. 🙂 We have been twice now and have another trip planned. YAY us!

    Well… bird saver, water saver, and planner a plenty, you are as busy as can be!

    Hugs as always, from Hoquiam!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I am so thrilled to read about the positive changes that have come to you, Barb! Good plan regarding camping. It’s easy to let the things we enjoy fade from our lives as time flies by and other things take our focus.

      I join you in your cheer! YAY FOR YOU!!!

      Hugs to you also!

      • Barb from Hoquiam says:

        Thank you so much! I am pretty excited.
        Today is the 14th “bonkaversary” of my moderate TBI. I lost so much over the years… This past 6 mos has kicked my butt, but I have survived and am doing a darn good job. Pretty pleased about this!

        I have to share, that there are a few “resources” which I use regularly … Many for health and wellness and TBI stuff… Great friends with great spirit.
        I have used this blog as a resource of joy, fun, unique ideas, armchair adventure and care… You have helped me re-engage in my life.

        THANK YOU!!!!


        • rvsueandcrew says:

          You’re welcome, Barb. “a resource of joy, fun, unique ideas, armchair adventure and care…” WOW! That makes my day!

  14. Judy J. in S.C. says:

    “I love it here”… makes me happy to know your contentment. Simple pleasures are the best. I just spent time looking out my kitchen window; watched all the different butterflies, bees and birds. Without taking the time to see, we miss such a wonderful world going on in our own little areas. This year, we have a whole flock of goldfinch to watch. They love our finch feeders and we’re rewarded with their beauty. Hoping we can all find reasons to say, no matter where we are…I love it here!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      What a lovely, kind hope, Judy. Loving where one is at no matter where that is. It’s a great feeling.

      You are blessed with an eye for the precious, small things of beauty that surround us. I’m glad you appreciate those gifts.

  15. EmilyO in NM says:

    Enjoy your rain barrel. I have a new 55 gallon one and in the last couple of days, it has filled twice and overflowed into a 55 gallon overflow barrel twice. I have used some of the water for plants that don’t receive very much rainwater because of overhangs or are on the wrong side of the place. I have had to empty some water, via hose, into the alley because of more pending rain. I need to make a screen top for my overflow barrel to keep the mosquitoes out. Have been busy outside (when it’s not boiling hot), painting benches, window shutters, tables, working on little projects inside the trailer, building a patio storage area for stuff I use frequently in the garden from an old computer desk. Can’t seem to stay inside. I feel your enthusiasm.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I feel your enthusiasm, too, Emily! I’m happy that you are out and about, keeping engaged and active. Your projects are the kind that bring a great deal of satisfaction and enjoyment when finished.

      I’m not sure how the rainbarrel will work for us. Rain comes in such large volume and there will be overflow, for sure. Mike and I are planning for handling that. We may have to make adjustments with time. When I told Nancy about the barrel she emailed back and said rainbarrels are a thing right now. It’s something to do about water scarcity other than just complaining about it.

  16. I’m certainly not nimble-fingered nor a typist, and not too sure that I can do math after trying so hard to be first! Did it make me do TWO math equations to post, or was I just fumbling around only to mess up and let Norman win? <>

    On the subject of your hot pockets, Sue! Yours look neat & tidy! Mine seem messy in comparison! I shall improve and try your sausage ideas!! Awesome!

    When I’ve traveled for long stretches, I’ve always left home with plenty of seal-a-meal bags of frozen homemade foods I love, and extras to share at get-togethers with other RVers, so the first few weeks I travel, there’s no need to “shop” on the road. Then, along with some invitations to eat out, some pot luck dinners, and some ”eat-while-driving” and snacks, it’s usually a long time before I really ”shop”. …and sometimes, because I live alone, I just eat when hungry, without considering timing or much planning.
    Since you began your real ”travels” when you picked up the Casita, have your preferences and shopping habits changed much since you are now ”parked”?

    With every one of your posts, I find some questions running through my mind about how other things are changing for you!! I’m always curious about how people settle in and start locating things like neat restaurants, new people, and new things to do when permanently transplanted after being a nomad! (I’ve always lived (permanently) in northeast Texas when not RV-ing) When I travel, I rarely go through the same places more than twice, so I’m curious about how it has changed for you!

    It “seems like” you rarely mention too much about what you find in the grocery stores, and (besides the infamous rotisserie chicken), some of the other regional things available (except watermelon), etc. If not too personal, it would be neat if you throw or elaborate more on some of the novelties and details you have noticed!

    Anytime you want to share more about the types of foods, your favorite go-to meals, tidbits about the types of stores, (chain stores or mom & pop), garage sales(?), community activities, unique laws, and other things you might think of as being ”unique” or ”typical” about your area would be fun to know, if there’s things you can share without giving away your personal & private information!

    Sometimes I think about ”little things” I would ask if discussing people’s different preferences, depending on lifestyles, such as traveling vs homesteading.
    If you can fit some of your preferences into some of your future posts, such as:

    Do you think you will ever cook up soups, stews, a roast, or batches of food that lasts several days? (Were there any kitchen appliances furnished?)
    How do you think your taste in foods and lifestyles will mesh with what your sister likes?
    How have your food & meal schedules and choices changed since you are in a house and not ‘mobile’?
    Have you met many locals and neighbors? Have many of them quizzed you about how & why you ended up in their neighborhood? …..and where you have been before buying the house?

    All those things cross my mind when I read your posts!
    I also can’t wait til your sis arrives and hear about all the fun of starting your new lifestyle together!

    Do you think you will continue to go back to Mexico for some medical services or dental? Or do you expect to find someone local. nearby, or in a larger city? Since I’m a retired school teacher, I’d be interested in knowing your thoughts on the expenses vs quality of care, etc.

    I rarely am lucky enough to see one of your posts roll onto my computer screen while I am watching, so today was tons of fun!

    **I’m certainly not asking you to answer all those questions!!** I was just mentioning some of the things that run through my (retired) mind when I’m living elsewhere, …..vicariously through your blog!

    My RV sustained a lot of damage in the last big Texas hailstorm, so I’m grounded until all of the repairs are finished at the dealership about 100 miles away! I’m going to be living even more vicariously through your posts for the next couple of months!!

    The next few months are going to be such fun for you and the boys, especially with the boys getting a ‘sister-pup’, and with Nancy coming to live the ‘desert lifestyle’!! My how much fun it’s going to be!! Will it be culture shock? You may have to let Nancy have a little P.S. space to comment, too! LOL

    Best wishes on all of your repairs, painting, your new house-mates, and your new mechanical toys!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Becky,

      I’ll try to give a few short answers to your questions.

      Two math equations to open comments: Perhaps you tapped the circular arrow by mistake which brings up the second equation?

      If it weren’t for the necessity of protecting our privacy from lookie-loos and nosey-noses, I would take photos of town and write a tour post. Can’t do that. Mentioning restaurants and things specific to our town like details about the grocery store, can’t do that either.

      I have mentioned regional differences in stores: the large selection of Hispanic spices and foods at the Smart & Final in Blythe, the canning supplies in Loa, UT’s store, the elk jerky sold in roadside stands in various places, etc.

      “tidbits about the types of stores, (chain stores or mom & pop), garage sales(?), community activities, unique laws, and other things you might think of as being ”unique” or ”typical” about your area would be fun to know”….. Sorry, those topics are dead giveaways on location.

      No, I don’t see myself preparing foods ahead of time. Things that have changed my eating habits: the purchase of the griddle led to tortilla cooking, the purchase of the smoothie maker led to experiments with coconut milk, almond milk, frozen fruit, flax seed, peanut butter powder. I’ve moved away from eating stews and soups. Being in the house, rather than the BLT, has changed my shopping only in that I have a large fridge and freezer for storage of things like a variety of fresh vegetables and frozen fruit. No oven in the BLT; I don’t use the oven in the house (it’s summer and I don’t care about roasting, baking, broiling.) The house came with the usual kitchen appliances except refrigerator.

      I’m not interested in get togethers with RVers which frees me from pot luck cooking and all the rest.

      Neighbors seem occupied and content with tending their properties, rather than meeting up for activities and socializing like in many communities. The hot weather has kept people inside a lot. We exchange waves when passing each other’s homes, maybe a brief exchange of pleasantries, and that’s it. No questions “why this” or “why that.” I like that. In the past I’ve had to move because of too “friendly” (aka nosy) neighbors, the needy types who can’t entertain themselves. I don’t want someone running up to chat whenever I come out my door. This is one of the reasons I love it here.

      I’m sorry your rig is in the shop. Good luck with the repairs and thank you for the best wishes and interest in my blog!

      • Oh, my goodness! Since I’m not coming westward anytime soon, and I’m used to neighbors who ‘walk on in’ when they come to visit,
        ….I forget that people cause you to “stay vigilant” and remember that people DO actually stalk you. (I’ve been here since you were living / leaving your stick & brick house! ….I’m a certified senior.)

        Since I’m in my childhood home makes it impossible for me to be anonymous, and it became evident when the insurance company used Google Earth to see my property location, and sent a drone to take photos of damage done to a brick wall, the roof of my RV and objects in the yard. Technology certainly steals privacy!
        It’s when something like that happens that I wonder if it would ever, EVER be possible to erase my own footsteps! Perhaps that’s another very specific reason why it’s so wonderful to get away from home and into the woods!!
        Thanks for your long response! I think your ”close up” photos only whet the appetite and the readers imagination!! GRIN

        You might want to **holler down th’ rain barrel** before you use it, (even if the modern ones aren’t metal). My grandpa used to tell me stories/ yarns about how hearing the *echo* in a rain barrel would bring you good luck and keep your home safe! That was back in the early 50’s in northeast Texas (redneck country).
        I can’t see how your luck could be much better! Have a wonderful week!

  17. JoanneG from San Rafael says:

    Hi Sue, So happy to hear you say you love it where you are!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thank you, Joanne. I hope you love San Rafael. I bet you do! 🙂

      (For those unfamiliar, San Rafael is a coastal community of California.)

      • JoanneG from San Rafael says:

        San Rafael is a great place to live. I am originally from New York and I am not sure how I got so lucky to land there. We are currently camping in Oregon which is pretty great, too!

  18. Linda Sand (Minnesota) says:

    Love your choice of garden cart. It looks very usable. Also, glad to hear you love it there.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Linda! Yeah, this cart is going to make chores, lawn care, and gardening a lot easier. When I emailed Nancy about it, that’s what she wrote back, “plus rides for Reggie, Roger, and Marg!”

  19. Renee G says:

    Awww, poor little bird. Did it fly down the chimney? If so, can you have your roofer put a wire screen on top so it doesn’t happen again? So glad you were there to help her out. Must be a female due to its coloring. Are those yellow birds finches too? They sure are pretty. I’m sure they are really enjoying the grapes!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks for reminding me, Renee, to get a screen for the chimney. Yes, the birds are finches. The yellow may be the morning light affecting the photo’s color. I don’t think it’s that prominent in real life.

  20. Cinandjules 🌵 says:

    Cute rain barrel! Your grapes look delicious!
    Uh oh! Like suggested they make chimney caps…Mike can place it up there for you! Keeps the critters and the rain out!
    Shopping queen! Hahhh. Excited…Nancy and Marge will be there before you know it!
    Rog is silly…..funny you go toy shopping for him and he’d rather chew on a piece of stick!
    The wind up here during the evening has been fierce! Lots of trees down….not us…but a neighbor. It’s a huge mesquite that fell across her entire driveway! No way Jose can we even attempt to move it.

    Gosh so many fires everywhere….be careful Blogorinos! Mother Nature has a mind of her own…and she generally wins….don’t tempt her! Be ready at a moments notice!

    Enjoy your day!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Cinandjules,

      I haven’t noticed strong winds here lately. I’m glad that falling tree didn’t hurt anyone.

      Roger gets in playful moods where anything he can pick up is a toy… He tosses pebbles and jumps on them. He grabbed one of my socks and ran outside with it, placing it on the blue mat with his other treasures (I let him keep it). He reminds me of people who grew up during the Great Depression and learned how to “make do.” His “great depression” is over. He’s a very happy guy!

  21. Lynda says:

    Sweet cool watermelon is so good! In the mid seventies, we had a five acre watermelon patch. We’d go early in the morning to work & gather the melons with our young children. One of them would choose a large melon & ask their dad if it was ripe & he ‘d say,”Let’s open it & see” . What deliciousness, eating that cool melon in early morning. Our daughter won grand champion of crops that year with the two watermelons she entered. What memories!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Lynda!

      It sounds like you gave your children a childhood of rich and vivid experiences. The memory of opening a melon in the field with Dad is something one cherishes as years go by. Oh, and winning “grand champion!” I feel sorry for kids raised in cities.

  22. Geri in the FL panhandle! says:

    Wow just 2 weeks and 2 days before Nancy arrives! Hooray!💗
    Sure was cool of weather to remember that the 16th of August is a very special day!
    So good that you were able to save the finch! Chuck and I had a family of cardinals in our bushes behind us! It took awhile, but finally all the 3 babies got their feathers in and we could tell we had a sweet little female and two obnoxious brothers! So much fun to watch. Soon they will be leaving I guess.
    Chuck and I have that very same yard cart! We bought it locally at the same price (ahem) !😊 I love it for bringing all those bags of groceries from the car to our front door in one trip! 💗
    You will love it too!
    Hug the boys from us!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Geri! Hi, Chuck!

      Yes, the cart will help with groceries. You should see me bobbling a big watermelon as it tries to escape my hold on the way to the door. I plan to keep the cart handy for jobs like that.

      Birds add much to a home. I’m glad you have some to watch and enjoy. Hugs to your boys, too!

      • Geri in the FL panhandle! says:

        That (ahem!) Was supposed to have the comment that I got the cart at that price and it was fully assembled! I know! I kmow! I’m rubbing it in! I hate assembling things, I cannot follow directions worth a darn!

  23. Two things: First make sure that the damper in the fireplace is closed. If it is left open, birds will fall or fly in. My parents had that happen and the bird got into the living area, panicked and got injured hitting walls trying to get out. My parents had to have the living room repainted because of this poor bird. Second, pick a string of grapes and some of the leaves and take it into a garden center to get a diagnosis. It could be a fungus or other thing you cannot see.

    Also, do you have a birdbath? I’m sure the local birds would appreciate some water, but make sure it has a shallow place where they can light so they don’t have to land in the water.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Judy!

      Thanks for the suggestions on keeping birds out of the fireplace. I’m pretty sure the birds are eating the grapes. While I was fixing lunch I looked out the window and watched a finch eating them. I’m happy for the birds to have the grapes as they provide much enjoyment for me.

      I don’t have a birdbath (Nancy is bringing one.). I have an outdoor spigot that drips. I put a big, shallow bowl underneath it, set in rocks, for the crew, the birds, and other critters. I do see the birds drinking there. Mike is going to fix the spigot and, when he does, I’ll set something else up for those who thirst.

  24. Joe in TN says:

    Hi, Sue,
    I remember your post re: Green Melon Fever and how much you loved them.
    I love grapes but the’re a lot of work so I grow tomatoes which go better with pinto beans and cornbread (my obsession).
    Sounds like you’re busy. Looking forward to meeting Nancy.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Oh yeah… pinto beans, corn bread and tomatoes… Learned to love that while a Georgia resident, along with collards and black-eyed peas. 🙂

      I hope you are having a good summer, Joe.

      • Renee G says:

        Yummm! I love greens and beans. I grew up eating a lot of beans and tortillas. My mother used to tell us that it was peasant food, but we should consider ourselves grateful because people pay a lot of money to eat it in restaurants! BTW, I was grateful. My mother made the best frijoles de hoya!

  25. Denise - Richmond VA says:

    Hi, Sue,

    Sounds like you are getting a few more things crossed off your to-do list. Good luck putting the cart together. May you have no extra parts or pieces when you are finished! 🙂 I like your rain barrel, the design is simple and classic.

    Reggie and Roger look so happy and contentment, chewing on their seed pods and bones. Such cuties! 🙂 Is it just me who sees them smiling in the pictures? 🙂

    One of my sisters had a blue ribbon week… They lost their beloved little girl Boston Terrier in January. She had tumors in her lungs. They were heartbroken. I suggested that she let the breeder know about the tumors. Long story short, the breeder had a little boy puppy available in 6 weeks. She e-mailed pictures to my sister….as you might guess, my sister, BIL and nephews fell in love with him. Little boy puppy joined their family in late February.

    My BIL’s folks helped with training/housebreaking the pup. Porkchop stays with his grandparents most of the work week.

    Fast forward to a couple weeks ago. The breeder contacted my sister to see if she was interested in adding Porkchop’s dad, Red, to their family. My BIL’s folks wanted him, so BIL and nephew #4 made the 6-hr round trip to pick up Red this past weekend. While they are there, the breeder mentioned that she is also looking for a home for a little girl Boston named Pumpkin. BIL called my sister to ask if she was interested, and then sent her some pictures.

    Turns out that Miss Pumpkin loves to snuggle…something that my sister has missed dearly. Porkchop is very independent, and does not like mushy stuff like snuggling. BIL and nephew #4 will make that same trip this weekend to bring Pumpkin home. They will have Porkchop, the male puppy, and Pumpkin, the 4-yr old little girl. Red will be at grandma and grandpa’s house. Boston Terrier love! Red and Porkchop are the rare red color with bluish-green eyes.

    This past weekend, nephew #3 and his fiancée adopted a lab mix from a kill shelter. It was her last day – they fell in love with her and brought her home. It was a blue ribbon week for all of those pups finding forever homes! They really lucked out! 🙂 I just love happy news like that! 🙂

    More happy news regarding my Little Peanuts. Both twins are now home! Baby boy still has some breathing challenges and has to remain on oxygen (tank). Hopefully he will start to thrive, just like his sister has. Being home, getting lots of love and attention, away from the noise and sterile, cold environment of the NICU is a good thing! Thank you all for keeping my family in your prayers! xo

    Have a good evening, Sue! Sending you, Reggie, and Roger lots of love and hugs from me and Gracie pup! 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Wow, Denise! What a happy report! The peanuts are home! The parents must be very happy, if maybe a bit nervous with the big responsibility. I’m sure the tender loving care will boost the twins’ progress. Blessings abound. 🙂

      All those pups joining their forever families! I’m happy for all of you!

      I think this comment has the most exclamation points than any I’ve ever written. 🙂 Have a wonderful evening, Denise and Gracie pup! Love and hugs from Arizona! 🙂

  26. Deena in Phoenix says:

    Hi Sue, love the two photos that show each of the cutie pie boys.

    Take Care…

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Deena! I appreciate your response to my boys’ photos. That spot under the mesquite makes a pleasant “play room.” I hope you’re enjoying the cooler temperatures!

  27. Denise - Richmond VA says:


    Do you have a birdbath set up yet? Despite my having 4 set up in different areas of my back yard, the sparrows nibble the sedum plants to get to the water/mositure. They will take a bite or two out of each leaf/petal, making the plant look awful. It used to bother me, but since I garden to provide food and shelter for the birds, bees, toads, chipmunks, and any other wild creature who wants to call my yard home, I am pleased that they get the nourishment that they need. 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I feel the same way about the grapes. We will set up birdbaths after Nancy arrives. (See reply to Fulltimer Judy.)

  28. Becky in NJ says:

    Hi Sue – while you have the roofers working, perhaps you should see if they can install a chimney cap, to prevent any more birds falling down your chimney!

  29. Rover Ronda (WA) says:


  30. Pam and Maya traveling west says:

    Hi Sue! I tryed your hot pocket recipe, it was a hit! Now I’m experimenting with variations on your theme. Love. the rain barrel! Yes, you really do need a garden cart, save your back.

    Guess where I am? Nebraska, exactly a month after surgery I’m on the road. Visiting my cousin and some friends in Oregon first.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Pam and Maya,

      Do try making hot pockets with sausage. Much better! Yesterday I didn’t have large tortillas, only the ones that fit perfectly flat in my little cast iron skillet. I browned sausage chunks in oil, then removed them. Smeared refried beans and dropped green chilies and salsa on top of the beans. Then I put that in the same oil in the skillet and browned the tortilla to crispiness with a cover over the skillet to melt the slice of cheddar on top.

      A Mexican pizza! Man, it was tasty. One sausage is too much for one small tortilla so I made two. 🙂

      I love your “Guess where I am?” That question is an expression of delight. Enjoy your friends and family and the new experiences in your life.

  31. Desert Ginger says:

    Well I have good news! My vision is now 20/30 in both eyes! I usually don’t need glasses at all, but sometimes when I am reading. I have started doing an exercise video. Right now I can only get through 6 or 7 Minutes and have to stop, but I’m doing that 2 or 3 Times a day and hoping to build up.

    I have gotten hung up on corn on the cob. Dang stuff is so good. I cut it off the cob, add a tablespoon of butter and one of mayo, then sprinkle well with Parmesan, mix the lot up, nuke it for a minute to get it all hot, then sprinkle it with Frank’s hot sauce. Yowza! I’m also cooking sautéed cabbage, and sautéed summer squash or zucchini. And having watermelon, and strawberries and peaches! Summer fruits and veggies. Yummy!

    I hadn’t noticed it was any cooler. Certainly not 80s here. You must be at a higher altitude than me. I can’t really go much above 4000 feet. I fell in love with Patagonia, but probably won’t move there as it is a long drive to medical care. But what a cute and friendly town.

    Tucson is pretty big and anonymous. I have a few neighbor/friends here in my park, but not many. I think a lot of people don’t much like me. Oh well.

    I know you are getting excited! It’s a big change for you. I hope it goes really well.

    • Denise - Richmond VA says:

      Hi, Desert Ginger,

      That is wonderful news! Only needing readers is great! All your talk about corn, squash, veggies, and watermelon and more, oh my! has my mouth watering! 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thank you, Ginger. That’s fantastic news about your improved vision! Also good that you’re establishing an exercise regimen. I wish you great results with that.

  32. Elizabeth says:

    Glad to hear things are coming together…we well know the feel of the deadlines!! Tomorrow the old house is handed over to the landlady with the reputation of being exceedingly fussy and picky. But we did our best…I spent the better parts of 2 days on my hands and knees scrubbing the boards along the floor!! And the places that needed it above that area…I told several I MUST be stronger than I thought to hoist this big body up and down so many times!! Tonight Daughter and I went over and finished up the last part of our stuff to do…the house cleaners come tomorrow to finish up a couple things and the keys are handed off. I hope the woman will be nice…but either way we are not letting it ruin our lives!! Now onto unpacking and sorting and finding places for things at the new house…and I imagine you and Nancy will be also so doing for awhile too!! Have fun!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Great progress, Elizabeth! I hope all turns out as you wish for you and your daughter.

  33. MB from VA says:

    I loved your last sentence! I am so happy for you and your sister….and combined crew.

  34. Sarvi in OR says:

    I’m still lurking, reading all posts but I don’t think I’ve commented in a while. My life has been crazy… I lost 2 of my kitties within a month of each other. One was completely unexpected, she got lymphoma and was gone in a couple days. The other was a bit more expected, as he was 16 and in kidney failure, but to happen exactly a month after the other was devastating. I did get a new kitten though, and he has brought me joy.

    Also, my 21 year old daughter lives in Redding, and was evacuated due to the Carr Fire. There were several days there where her apartment was in the direct path of the fire, but winds shifted each time and somehow her apartment was spared. She was able to get back in today.

    I’ve been enjoying reading about your house adventures. Every day is something new! And I really like your flashbacks to former camps, it’s nice to be reminded of the places you’ve gone.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Good to know you’re still “riding” with us, Sarvi. I’m sorry about the losses you’re suffering. It must be very difficult for you. Your new kitty has a job to do — Make you smile.

      It’s hard to imagine what people go through when the threat of fire forces them out of their homes and they don’t know if they’ll lose everything. I’m glad you daughter is home and safe.

      Thanks for the feedback on “flashbacks.” More to come in the next post which is almost ready!

  35. Suzicruzi says:

    Aloha Sue, We are camped on a picturesque lake, Canyon Ferry Lake, which so reminds me of many, many of the photos and posts of yours. This is White Earth CG, $5 w/ pass. Water and toilets (clean) on site. Tables, and fire pits. Oh Sue, I (we) couldn’t be more thrilled! The CG has a host, and a boat ramp “reserved for certified boaters”, LOL whatever that means. There is one other camper/boater here, parked 5 sites away. No one else! We settled in, door to the East, and set down our mat and chairs. Opened a couple cold ones, and are gazing out at the Montana hills across the lake. Big lake! I took photos of us sitting out here on the lake shore, and I’m remembering how excited you were when you found a spot with solitude on a lake with a view, when you were only a few weeks or months into your new BLT. We have been only 22 days since we picked her up in Rice, and we have been 3,600 miles, and seen so many wonderful sights; including Custer SP, Little Big Horn, Rushmore and Crazy Horse, Devils Tower, Tetons, and Yellowstone this past Sunday. Not to mention everything inbetween.

    Yesterday we were camped at Pine Creek, MT, S of Livingston on 89, and did a 10 mi hike up into the Absaroka Beartooth Wilderness. We reached 8,000’, into high alpine meadows filled with wildflowers. It was splendid! The CCC built the CG in 1935. It was forested, huge sites, and I mean you had an incredible “back yard with the works”. Cleanest pit toilets ever, water spigots everywhere, a creek in back, and a waterfall 1 mile up the trail, which we passed on our hike. The hosts were lovely, hard working people from Galveston. $7 with pass. A bit spendy for nearly primitive, but we loved it.

    Last week we were boondocked just outside the Teton’s border, smack dab in the middle of the park, on a road that led to Dubois. We camped overlooking a river valley, on Buffalo Valley Road. Look fori t on your map. Free, free, free!! A great view on the bluff, and 10 minutes from the Park. One downside ; we were swarmed with mosquitoes there and had to spend evenings inside. But with our big windows and view, it wasn’t bad. We even saw that huge moon for 3 nights outside our rear window from bed.

    We have been so remote lately, we’ve had little to no service, so have been behind in news, and your posts. Great cell service here right now though! Yay! Today we got caught up on “house chores”; shopping, washing & vacuuming the rigs, finding parts, banking, and then a huge treat of milkshakes in Livingston. (MT). Funny story; while we were hiking yesterday, we passed a couple about our age coming down, and we struck up a conversation. It led to food, LOL. I guess there is a “famous” burger joint in Livingston, that’s been there since 1954, and people come from all over to have a shake (real hard scooped ice cream), onion rings, or burgers there. So, well, you know….

    After all our chores, and right after washing the rigs, we went to check it out. All I can say is- “score!” 🙂 We polished off two thick, dreamy real ice cream shakes, and an order of onion rings. We were not disappointed! “Travel to Eat” we say. HaHa! Never pass up a Local’s secret. After our treats, I looked at the map and called a Ranger Station, and asked for tips on a few of her favorite “out of the way, less busy”camps. She led us to check this one out, and we couldn’t be happier for 5 bucks. :-).

    As for your post, I’m excited Nancy’s arrival is a mere couple weeks away. This will be so fun for the two of you! Your rainbarrel is spot-on, and I hope you get enough rain to see benefit from it! We saw a lot of that in the PNW for people’s gardens. My favorite photo from this post is the one of the boys playing on the blue rug in the dappled shade. That is so sweet!

    I wish you were here. Lol… You’d approve of this spot! Nothing but us and a few Seagulls fishing on the shore in front of us, and the mountains to the East across the lake. Signing off now, as the wind is kicking up, and it’s time to go in and make a few quesidillas from the bounty we bought today. It’s dinner time!!

    Cheers Sue and all Blogerinos!

    • Denise - Richmond VA says:

      Hi, Suzicruzi,

      I am enjoying your detailed trip reports! Thank you for sharing your journey with us! 🙂

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