Friday, January 27, 2012

Pianist Proud of His Organs

Being yourself results to freedom and peace.”

Who would have known Deb would meet a well-known renowned pianist in Quartzsite, AZ.  Paul Winer; local owner of "Reader's Oasis Bookstore", stompin' boogie-woggle and blues musician, actor in Hollywood, comedy sharing the circuit with then an up-and-coming comic named Jay Leno, and one of the first Chippendale's.  

After just a brief conversion with Paul, Deb quickly found out his first love is with his music. He played concerts and clubs for 25 years (1965-1990) as “Sweet Pie” to over one and half million people in the Northeast States and Coast to Coast in Canada, and recorded an album in 1971. Paul preformed two shows (2 p.m. & 7 p.m.) with Ralph “Mr. Tub” Martin (washtub bass) and Will Pirone (Paul’s original blues-harp player from the early 1970’s) on January 24, 2012 at the Quartzsite Improvement Association (QIA), so Deb got us tickets for the 7 p.m. show before they were sold out.  See Paul held his first sold out concert in Quartzsite this past January (2010) at the QIA. Over 900 people showed up, many of whom had to stand outside to see the show since the hall only holds 760. We must say it is a one-of-a-kind, kind of show.  

Oh, let’s go back to the bookstore for a moment….  Paul started his bookstore with 2 boxes of his mom’s paperbacks in a tent and now has a full retail bookstore. However, it’s NOT your typical bookstore!!  Why you might ask?!?   Well, he’s known for his lack of clothing, which you can click here to read the full article.  

“If books were clothing – I’d be called “Well-Dressed” ~ Paul Winer 

Deb, Paul, and Barb outside the bookstore

It was a cool day when Barb and I went to the bookstore, so Paul had a bit more clothes on.  Usually its just his "jewels in a pouch" and flip flops.

I was once afraid of people saying, “Who does he think he is?” Now I have the courage to stand and say, “This is who I am.”  Amen!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

INVASION Upon The Desert

Us on top of "Q Mountain" over looking town - sea of white is mostly RV tops
This quaint town has a population of 3800 full-time resident, however it starts growing in September when the snowbirds come rolling in.  The winter season (September – April) is when this town really grows with over 2 million visitors.   Well, this last week the desert got invaded when hundreds of people and their rigs took over, it wasn't too bad up to this point.  What’s all the excitement? All this just to partake in the 45th Annual POW WOW, Rock & Mineral Show (Jan 18-22), The BIG Sport  -RV & Travel Show (Jan 21-29) and the Classic Car Show (Feb 4 & 5), so we will be glad when we get the desert back to ourselves!!  

We didn’t make it to the POW WOW, but we will try to attend the RV & Travel show tomorrow.  Wish us luck….

~Poor Camper ~

This poor man in the center

Now you can barely see him, as he got completely surrounded
The poor man that owns this Class C RV had a nice place to himself, where he would sit out and watch cars and people pass by, however got invaded upon by this RV group.  Deb  was curious if he was expecting his company, after speaking with him found out he wasn't, nor did they even speak to him before circling him.   The BLM rules states to allow 15 feet from ones camper – not too sure that happened  here! :(

 Time to dump "black tank" and get  fresh water?
Dump Line - about 12 deep, usually 3-4

No more 24 hour service - hopefully we will get it back in a couple of weeks.

There are many of groups that invaded the BLM land, however we got REAL LUCKY as our area is still VERY PEACEFUL! ;)

Good times ~ more around the corner....

Friday, January 20, 2012

Living Off The Grid

Comforts in the "real world"

We were a little spoiled living in a stick and mortar house; large open spaces, unlimited water supply and electricity on demand, - all without much thought … well except how much the monthly bill would be…LOL!!!

The days of nice long showers or bubble baths, washing your cars in the drive way, using a gallon of water to rinse dishes, or turning on the sprinklers to try and keep the grass green. Oh let’s not forget about the TVs, computers, lights, washer & dryer, plus all the other electrical gadgets that we use each day. 

Living in our “can”, is a bit different, as we choose to live without full hook-ups. Now we must think about everything we do, because there are impacts to all of our actions. 

LARGE – UNLIMITED – ON DEMAND, not so much these days! Our living space is <300 square feet, so buying is limited (really, that hasn’t happen yet ;)), space saving becomes a BIG CHALLENGE, and you MUST REALLY love your spouse and dog. =)   Want water? Great!?! Another workout for Jerry; see what we use we must haul in, so he gets his upper body workout about 2-3 per week.  Electricity needs are a bit more complicated, it has to deal with Amperage / Wattage / Batteries – DC / AC…. Thank goodness Jerry paid attention in his math classes, as this is definitely not Deb’s department.  
Our RV electrical system needs to supply power for cooking, recreation, communication, creature comforts, and other domestic needs when the engine isn’t running, which is a TALL order to fill. Our “house” electrical system comprises both DC (battery supplied – 12v lights, water pump, furnace, etc) and AC (household current – tv, laptop, microwave, small appliances, hair dryer, etc.) appliance. When boondocking; all these appliances are powered by our batteries, either directly through DC outlet or on-board gas generator. However, using the generator has its draw backs – noisy and pricy. Okay, so if you don’t want to use the generator, what other options do we have? There are only three options: gas(stay as we are), wind, or solar. Staying with our current method is running about $150/month and requires a gas station to be close by. Wind, must have sustain winds at 20 mph or better to produce enough power. Solar, the sun is your best friend, and produces the most power.

Jerry had to decided what amps and watts were being used daily, then was there anything we could change to help reduce the usage. We decided it would be wise to replace our light bulbs to LED and TV, which we didn’t realize we purchased a LCD/LED TV this past summer. Of course Jerry received a lot of advice from all the seasoned veterans on what would be best, but most of it was for larger rigs and very expensive. We needed something that would fit our needs and not spend our life savings. We don’t have a lot of real estate on the roof, remember we only live in about 300 sq ft, so where would we put batteries and how could we do solar without mounting them on the roof of the RV? 

After looking at all the options, Jerry decided to go with a portable 120w solar panel to charge our one battery. After sharing the ideal with a couple of friends, they too decided to get them the same panels. Jerry and Ed hopped into Ed’s truck and took a road trip to Surprise, AZ (about a 2 hour drive each way), to save the taxes (10% in AZ) plus shipping on the three panels.  We were so excited to get the solar hooked-up and get away from running the generator so much.  All set now….

Nope, quickly we realized that one solar panel and one battery was not really going to help much, so we decided to go a little deeper.  Jerry made a phone call to order yet another 120w solar panel with four AGM batteries, since Deb was willing to give up some space under the couch to house the new batteries.   ROAD TRIP – our friends Jim & Barb are always ready for a road trip, so we asked them if they would like to go along and we take their truck (as the toy, wouldn’t like this type of road trip) – of course we would pay for the fuel.   They were game, and we had a FUN FILLED DAY in the Phoenix area shopping and purchasing other thing to modify our rigs (more on that later). 

Batteries all hooked-up

Now, the batteries are installed, solar is out and batteries charging, and inverter hooked up (Jerry purchased before leaving), we are all setup – ready live off the grid.   So we though – now the inverter isn’t working!  

Stay tune – maybe the third time will be the charm!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Celebrate Life's Special Moments

Our red headed visitor


Make every day a day to celebrate life and be thankful!!  Don’t run through life so fast that you forget not only where you’ve been but also where you’re going. 


Beautiful Rainbow Crossed The Mountain

Go outside and look at the sky.  Soak in the atmosphere.  Enjoy the colors of the landscape.  Feel the texture of every place you are that you’re thankful for. 

Awesome Sunset In The Cloud Window

Live to the fullest, and make each day count.  Take those walks that would love to be taken.  Explore those sunlit or moonlit paths that would love to be traveled.  Things that keep you healthy, happy, and safe from harm, are what make every choice count.


Have moments in time, instead of just minutes in a day – Own it; Enjoy it!!

Stunning Desert View

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Footprint embedded in the rock?

Footprint in the rock, hmm...who's was it?

Footprint embedded in the rock? 

 Oh we had to go find it, so we got the general area from the seasoned veterans, meet up with Jim and Barb, and off we went to find the footprint. 

Deb stepped on and over the print before Jim spotted it.

Hmm... could this once have been sand? After all this land was once water.

"Footprint in the Sand" ~ Mary Stevenson, 1936

One night I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord. Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky.

In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand. Sometimes there were two sets of footprints, other times there was one only.

This bothered me because I noticed that during the low periods of my life, when I was suffering from anguish, sorrow or defeat, I could see only one set of footprints, so I said to the Lord,

“You promised me Lord,
that if I followed you, you would walk with me always. But I have noticed that during the most trying periods of my life there has only been one set of footprints in the sand. Why, when I needed you most, have you not been there for me?”

The Lord replied, “The years when you have seen only one set of footprints, my child, is when I carried you.”

Now, It's time for you to get out and enjoy a walk. Train yourself to see the details of your life the way a photographer looks for the details of a scene. But don't stop with what you see: use all your senses to become a connoisseur of events and details... Don't keep your appreciation of detail to yourself, but share with others. Can't wait to hear from you! ;o)

Tell next time - Happy Trails....

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year - Bring on 2012

Happy 2012 Everyone!! 

Good Riddance 2011; it has been a year to “detox our lives”, as we prepared for a new adventure - living full-time in our Can called an RV.  :)   Talking about emotions; never thought it would have brought out so many emotions, however having the ability to live a “carefree live” has been worth it all.   

Jerry finally got to RETIRE after 40 years in Corporate America and Deb got the honor to stop working, so we could live out Jerry’s dream of going back to a life of travel and adventure.

We ended our year; sitting around the camp fire with many of our new friends, sharing laughs, a few adult beverages – including a jar of moon shine and adult straws for the ladies with snacks, however only a hand full made it to ring in the New Year.  Deb was not one of them, however she did make it to ring in the New Year Texas time.

"An optimist stays up until midnight to see the new year in. A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves." Bill Vaughn

HELLO 2012…Cheers to Retirement and Safe Travels!!   

We don’t believe in making all these promises that are impossible to keep, so we just eat our Hoppin’ John in hopes of good health and luck.  Figure with good health and love, all things are possible.   Bring on Peace, Love, and Happiness!!

"Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right." Oprah Winfrey