Sunday, January 26, 2014

Boomerville 2014

P1190002(Jan) The annual gathering of the Escapee Boomer’s RVing group met in Quartzsite as usual this month. Not as usual, Chuck and I attended for 4 days. We usually go for 2+ weeks. We decided after 6 straight years of full attendance to take a break from the intensity that is Boomerville.

P1200006Potluck is served! An amazing array of main dishes, salads & breads – but only 2 desserts! P1200010Loren, Becky, Julie, John & Chuck IMG_20140121_151918_091Dave McKenna at our CARE auction – we raised over $4,000 this year

We thoroughly enjoyed our four day stay, however. It gave us a chance to see all of the Boomer friends that came to Q this year and join in many of the scheduled activities. Bidding at the CARE Auction, doing Walk-abouts, having Gretchen & Bob's pancakes, playing Pegs & Jokers, baking for the Boomerville Bread Bake-Off, going to a party at the Harrisons, enjoying a couple of potluck, and joining the group Happy Hours for announcements and socializing were some of the activities that we enjoyed.

IMG_20140120_115154_849Chuck & the Boomer guys helping with an RV slide problem 260 (Custom)Chuck’s Sourdough entry in the Bread bake-off 265 (Custom)Jan’s Banana Bread entry

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Lots to do

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(Jan) We moved into town to take in a whirl of social activities the last two weeks.

  • Lunch with the Boomers at Village Inn Pizza
  • Chuck & I and John & Julie brought dinner to Ron & Sharon’s and played Pegs and Jokers.
  • Ladies Luncheon with the Boomer Girls at Julianna’s
  • Going away Party for Patsy at Joy’s
  • Nickels card game and dinner with Gary & Nancy and Joey & Carl at J&C
  • Pegs & Jokers and dinner with Ron & Sharon and Jerry & Carol at R&S
  • Lunch with Midwest friends Gary & Karen & friends who were traveling through Yuma.

PC270015Our friend Patsy, a long time Boomer, has had a home in the Foothills. This vivacious gal graciously included us in a gathering when we first started coming to Yuma for the winter in 2008. We met many of our Yuma friends who still live in the area now. Yuma will not be quite the same without Patsy here.

Chuck finished a couple of house projects while we were here in Yuma that I’m really appreciating! 

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Now I have a place to store my earrings and bracelets.

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Chuck added a bar as a guard in front of our spice rack in our top cupboard. No more spice bottles shifting and falling after we have been on a bumpy road!

P1180001Here he is changing the last fluorescent light fixture in our MH to an LED.

P1160012In between all of the activities we had great time living close to downtown Yuma and the Palms Shopping Center. We managed to shop for a few necessities…and few that weren’t. Best of all we had our friends John & Julie living next door!  Lot’s of visits and few therapy sessions; many Pegs & Jokers games, breakfast at Penny’s Diner and an ice cream stop at Sam’s. We had a fun & relaxing time with them. Great neighbors!

On Friday we filled with propane at the Shell Station at Pilot Knob and filled with water at Gray’s Well. We drove north to Blythe where we intended to dump our holding tanks at the Municipal Facility but they were already closed for the day. So on to Quartzsite we went, where we dumped our tanks and then drove south of town to MM99. We found a nice spot to settle in for a couple of days before we head up the road about 10 miles NE to Boomerville. We were in this same area a month ago and there sure are a lot more RVs here now!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Farm to Farm Tour

(Chuck)   We took what is billed as a Farm to Farm Tour in Yuma, Arizona. When we inquired about the tours, we were informed that this was to be more for those with agricultural backgrounds than the more familiar Farm to Feast Tours. It was a good experience. It was led by Dr. Curt Nolte of the University of Arizona. We took IMG_20140114_085736_266a bus tour of the Colorado River bottom and the upland Mesa. They consist of two distinctly different soil profiles. The river bottom are heavy clay which lends itself to vegetable production. The Colorado silt is 5 to 25 feet in depth and requires about 3 acre feet of water per year. IMG_20140114_105948_093The upland soil is very sandy and lends itself to deeper rooted citrus crops. The citrus production is declining due to price competition and demands about twice the water. There is about 58,000 acres in irrigation. All water is delivered by gravity flow from the Laguna and Imperial Dam Projects on the Colorado River. The 35 growers in the Yuma area require 50,000 workers per day in the November through March season. Yuma is the lettuce capitol of the US as 1,000 trucks per day are sent to all parts of the nation. There are 25 cooler plants and 10 salad plants which cool and process the produce. Cost of the water is a modest $18 per acre foot. The Colorado River water contains natural gypsum content which is leached from the rock as it flows from the mountains. This is very good as it balances the excessive salinity of the soil. Fences are required lately to protect from animal intrusions which have resulted in e-coli outbreaks in recent years.

On the tour we stopped at Steve Alemeda’s  machinery lot. Steve is the owner of Topflavor Farms and a tireless promoter of Yuma’s agriculture. He is President of the Yuma Fresh Vegetable Association. We had a chance to observe the construction of a planter which was being built for use on his vegetable crops. He gave us good insights on the challenges of managing labor, machinery, farm inputs, weed control and other aspects of crop production.

IMG_20140114_083843_352 IMG_20140114_092550_404550 Case IH Tractor IMG_20140114_092554_338and Tillage tool to prepare the fields.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Sourdough Bread

(Chuck)  I am not experienced with gourmet dining. My food needs have been centered around stopping a tractor, combine or a windrower to fill with fuel and grab a sandwich and get back to the field. Food was a necessity; not a reason to stop for a meal. This is my culinary background, a bit basic, but it is me.

So fast forward to our present lifestyle and somehow I have been challenged with Sourdough Bread. Last spring on our way to Alaska my sister Jackie gave us a starter which we put in the fridge and soon killed. I felt bad about losing that starter and while shopping at Fry’s Grocery in Yuma I picked up a loaf of Sourdough. We both liked it and soon I was dreaming of making bread and saving all of that money on groceries. I found an easy recipe on line and quickly had a starter bubbling on the counter. I sort of followed the instructions and soon created my own loaf of Sourdough Bread. At the same time, I was talking with my friend Loren about making bread because he has good experience in bread making. He was at our rig playing Pegs and Jokers that day and I proudly cut him a sample from the loaf and asked him for his opinion. P1040016Loren chewed the piece for quite a while and said “Do you want my honest opinion?” That made me smile as I now knew the answer. He let me down easy and told me that it was just white bread and did not have the Sourdough taste or texture, the crumb was poor and it did not rise properly.  I love Loren. The next day he told me that he had mentioned Sourdough to our friend John and John would be bringing a present when he came to the desert to be with us. Loren has since renewed his interest and is also baking bread.

John is not just another pretty face with a brilliant mind. He is also a gourmet cook. He arrived with his precious jar of starter which is the great grandson of the first loaf of sourdough bread from San Francisco. Soon I had better instructions on the care and feeding of starter. The first loaf did not raise as expected, but I have been adjusting the temperature of the sponge and proof of the loaf by using the pilot light of the oven and cracking the oven door about an inch. That seems to provide the expected 70 to 80 degree environment for the raise.  We had great success on the last loaf and I got the thumbs up from both John and Loren. It was a good day.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Is it 2014 Already?

PC280020(Jan) Well, how did that happen? While we were just chugging along with daily life, 2013 ended and 2014 began! Chuck and I did celebrate a notable milestone at the end of 2013. On Dec.28th we celebrated our 45th Wedding Anniversary! We were staying on Ron & Sharon’s lot in the Foot Hills and they, Diane & Jim and Dan & Jenny helped us celebrate with cards games, grilled steaks and a carrot cake decorated for the occasion from Ron & Sharon. Thank you friends! Your warmth and caring meant a lot!

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BLM land off of Ogilby Road has been our home site for the past week. A group of Boomers has traditionally met at Lake Mittry for New Years Eve but due to crowded conditions there, we are at Ogilby this year. There’s lots of room for everyone to roam here with knock-your-socks off sunsets! On the 31st we had game time in the afternoon with the group here plus Joey & Carl and Nancy & Gary who drove out from Yuma. Herb & Anke joined in the lively Happy Hour and we continued with more games & a bonfire in the evening. The traditional New Years Day Potluck was a yummy success with 17 in attendance.  Pictured at below are Chuck & Jan, Tom & Margie, Larry & Joyce, Steve & Pam, Nancy & Tony, Julie & John, Sherrie & Jack, Fran & Rod and Loren. There’s been some good hikes in the desert, Pegs & Jokers games and a slideshow by Joyce on their travels last summer to Norway, Sweden and Finland. P1010004

P1050012Yesterday we had a surprise visit from Jeff & Kay, who we met in The Bighorn Mts. in 2011. They are in the area and stopped by as they were out hiking. What a delightful surprise!

It’s been two and a half weeks since a group of us met at the Q casino and our friend Sharon broke her leg. This afternoon it was time for “Prime Rib Dinner – Take 2” and Sharon wanted to stay for dinner this time! Sharon is healing and in her permanent cast.  We all had a great time catching up and sharing lots of laughter.

The Imperial Sand Dunes are just to the southwest of us here on Ogilby Rd. They add quite a bit of dust to the air making for some incredible sunsets such as the one reflecting off our MH below.P1040011

 
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