Same Stuff (Mostly!), Different Month!
Trip Start Jan 01, 2009
34Trip End Dec 31, 2009
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Soon after our last entry, my little Splendide Washer/Dryer combo went on strike for the fourth and final time. We have a "whole house" extended warranty that we've used to have it repaired every other time, but, at a cost of $250 deductible each time, we had more than paid for a new one! So, this time, we put the repair costs towards the purchase of a new machine - and WOW! what a difference...they've really improved this product over the last 12 years! For those of you not familiar with these machines, they're small, designed and built in France, and previously were used almost exclusively in Europe, where water supplies are limited and indoor space is at a premium. In the lst 15 years or so, they've become very popular in the U.S. for RV and marine use. They can be vented or non-vented (ours is the non-vented type, and we didn't especially want to change to vented, since it would require cutting a hole in the side of the motorhome)...and the non-vented have been generally known for taking hours to "dry" anything, and even then, it came out slightly damp. I didn't have a problem with this, as we installed a spring-loaded shower curtain bar in the bathroom where I would hang things when they came out of the dry cycle, and they would look like they'd been pressed - none of the wrinkles common in a "regular" dryer! Since these machines are an all-in-one deal, they dry differently - it's called "condenser drying": it dries by heatng the laundry inside the drum to create steam, and then cools off the outer drum (by spraying cool water on it). As the steam hits the cooled surface, it's condensed back into water and is pumped out through the drain system. This new machine dries SO completely and thoroughly, that I've had to adjust how I use it, as clothes were drying too fast (20-30 minutes!) and, because of the small drum size, they were coming out with the same wrinkles as the laundry room dryers produced! We can even wash towels (2-3 bath towels and a hand towel or two) in this machine and have them dry completely - something I never did in the old one. Anyhow, enough about our new washer/dryer (you can probably tell I'm pretty excited about it!)...but I know many of you often question how things work differently in a motorhome, and this is one of the most unique products, I think!
Back toward the end of January, we treated ourselves to a hockey game. We went to the Phoenix Coyotes' Jobing.com arena to see them play the Anaheim Ducks, and it was a great game - especially since the Ducks won! We bought our tickets through StubHub online, where season ticket holders sell individual game tickets, often a a lower-than-face-value price...and we got center ice tickets at $10 off face value - which was a great deal!
Here at Countryside RV Resort, we've continued duties as camp hosts every other week...and I've started working in the office once or twice a week - volunteering in exchange for them teaching me how to use the "Campground Manager" software (possibly the most user unfriendly system ever!). Not every RV resort uses this particular software, but I thought it would be good for me to learn one of them to give us a better chance at future work-camping jobs. There are lots of activities here at this park, but Greg and I still pretty much enjoy our time here at home, reading, relaxing, watching TV and movies (we cut back on our Dish Network subscription and, since we're sitting still, we were able to go to Netflix, which gets us two movies a week, on average, which we've been enjoying); and I spend a LOT of time online, playing Scrabble with friends in Florida and California and with Second Cousin Yvonne in England; and on Facebook, playing lots of different word games and Sudoku with family all over the U.S., Canada, and the U.K. The weather here is beautiful - with gentle evenings punctuated by breathtaking sunsets almost every night. We've had a couple of days of rain - and when it rains here, it flat out POURS! But the air is always so clean and fresh afterwards, that there are no complaints! One of the things that I love here (besides the sunsets!) is that we wake up to birds chirping every single day, all winter long! There are lots of finches, mourning doves, and even an owl here in the park, and their music entertains year-round.
We continue to search for a summer work camping job in or near Michigan, since we have to be there in May for my niece's wedding, anyhow...and, we'd like to spend as much time as possible near Mom, as her confusion and memory-loss issues are increasing. The continuing economic downslide has created an opportunity for us to re-think how we can best combine our rv lifestyle with saving/earning opportunities...and work camping is a good start, as it means that we don't have to pay any "rent" for our site, and we don't have to move from park to park every 2-3 weeks, which our campground memberships all require. Greg took on a commission-only sales job for a flagstone and patio rock company here locally, but it's a tough go, since people just aren't spending a lot of money on landscaping or ANYthing, nowadays!
While working on this entry earlier this morning, I got a call from one of the group of 44 (22 RVs) who are here staying in the park from Le Federation Qubecois (Quebec, Canada)...I think I mentioned that I had translated the park rules into French before they arrived, and one of their group who speaks very good English has offered to "fine tune" the rules in French for us - which I greatly appreciate! I knew that the translation I had put together (a combination of Google and one other online Translator, mixed with my own knowledge of French) needed some help, although it seemed to have been well accepted by our French-speaking guests.
Last week, Greg had an outpatient surgery procedure done for a "herniated umbilical" - his "innie" had become an "outie" at some time late this past year, probably from some strenuous, straining work he had done on the motorhome. He had his post-op appointment with the doctor yesterday, and all is well - I'll just have to remind him not to be so hard on himself for at least the next six weeks!
And this week - we knew that Spring was here, and Summer's on its way - because Spring Training Baseball began! Last year, we were in Florida, and got to enjoy several of the Grapefruit League games (Boston Red Sox and Minnesota Twins opening weekends)...this year, we're in Cactus League country - so we went to see the Anaheim Angels Spring Training Opener (NO! They are NOT the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim to us...Los Angeles has the Dodgers...Anaheim has the Angels!!). They played the Chicago White Sox at the Angels' park - Tempe Diablo Stadium (pretty funny - the Angels playing at Devil Stadium!). We know from past experience that the best, and often cheapest, tickets can be purchased outside the stadium just before the game, and this time was no exception - when we walked away from a scalper who was trying to sell $25 seats for $30, he called us back, offered to sell them for $20, and we walked away again, saying we hadn't planned on spending even $15 - so he sold them to us for $15, and they were incredible seats - Second Row - right behind Home Plate! A perfect day, hot and sunny, and the Angels won, 12-3...who could ask for anything more?
We've got another 6 weeks or so here (with a 5 day side trip to Yuma, Arizona and Los Algodones, Mexico the last week of March), and now that Greg's surgery is behind us, we hope to do some local sightseeing when we're not on duty here at the park. So, hopefully we'll post a few more updates in March, and have some fun things to share with ya'll when we do! Thanks for continuing to travel along!