http-equiv='refresh'/> Tin TeePee/Log Cabin: November 2016

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Dental Work Finished

In the past when we’ve had dental work done in Mexico in either Nogales or Los Algodones, we’ve had long, long waits to see the dentist.  It seemed the offices told all us Americans to be there at the same time—we asked some of the people in the waiting room and yep, their appointment was at the same time as ours.  Didn’t happen with the Rubio Group—and admittedly so, it is early in the season—all the offices will get busier I am sure.  But Dr. Rafel saw me exactly on time Monday and a bit early today.

Michael went with me today leaving the howling pooch at home wearing her new collar—and we think it worked.  She did not do the sharp screeching she usually does when she sees our vehicles upon our return home.

IMG_5713Exit #166 heading east on I-8 will take you to Mexico.  Pass the casino on your right and cross over the big water canal

IMG_5717Right in front of this “last U turn” sign is the right turn into the parking lot lanes.

IMG_5720Proceed to the parking lot booths and hand the guy $6 to park all day.

IMG_5722Find a place to park—this time of year there were lots of empty spaces.  Look for the little building which houses an ATM and the walkway into Mexico is just to the left of the ATM house.


See the smoke in the background—huge grass/brush fire alongside I-8.  Walk down the walkway into Mexico with the rest of the Americans heading to find low cost dental work/prescription meds/eyeglasses/booze.

IMG_5726There will be lots of Mexican men asking if they can help you, direct you to a dentist, etc.—just politely say, “no, gracias” or simply say “no, thank you.”  Many of the larger dental groups will send a car to the border crossing—the Rubio Group will do so.  Our instructions were to walk into the Purple Pharmacia and ask someone to call Dr. Rubio’s office for a pickup—we walked instead using the map the office provided.  We have never felt unsafe/threatened in Los Algodones—I’ve been several times by myself without Michael and am perfectly comfortable.  The Rubio Group office is about three blocks from the border. 

If you are lost and unsure of where to go, simply ask one of those Mexican men talked about in the above paragraph to help—many will walk you to the office for a gratuity. 

Today Dr. Rafel of the Rubio Group seated my permanent crowns and did some surface filling of three teeth I had brushed too hard, removing the enamel.  I was in and out of the office in less than a hour.  We made another stop at the Purple Pharmacia—for meds they were out of on Monday and walked to the border to be pleasantly surprised—the line was again non-existent.  We’ve been to Algodones in March and one day waited THREE hours to cross back into the US—that’s the longest we’ve ever waited.  Again, same questions from the border agent and we were on our way.


Dental work accomplished—life is good!

IMG_5727As we were walking to the dentist office, Michael noticed this sign—see the “we support Escapees RV Club” sign? Smile

Monday, November 28, 2016

We Are In Yuma

Sunday morning the wind blew us to Yuma.  It was an easy travel day—just under 200 miles on secondary roads avoiding all the crazy folks returning home after the long Thanksgiving weekend.  We are staying at the Kofa Ko-op Escapees Park out in the country south of Yuma.  The Escapees organization has nineteen RV parks across the nation—some of the parks lease lots, others such as North Ranch have deeded lots.  This park in Yuma has leased lots which if unoccupied by the lessee can be rented to folks like us. 

The Kofa Ko-op Park is quiet, friendly and has a seven acre completely fenced dog park—very sandy but at least there is room to let Emmi run.  Each lot is separated by nice brick fencing and our lot backs to the dog park—convenient!

Today was the day—off to Los Algodones, Mexico for my dental consultation at Rubio Dental Clinic.  I saw Dr. Rafel and was pleased with his demeanor and skill plus he was really easy on the eyes! Winking smileI received a detailed estimate/plan from my dentist in Billings, MT which I gave to Dr. Rafel.  He then examined my teeth and took one x-ray.  His recommendation was to do two of the three crowns recommended by the Billings dentist.  Dr. Rafel thought the one large filling was fine and suggested doing nothing until the tooth bothered me. 

He started the crown process today and the permanent crowns will be ready Wednesday.  He will finish all the work Wednesday afternoon.  Now—the estimate from the Billings, MT dentist for two crowns and three fillings was $3300.  The quote from Dr. Rafel—$1300.  Dr. Rafel is using the same material for making the crowns as they would have used in the US. 

IMG_1013Modern, clean office with free wifi! 

I entered Mexico at 9:40am, walked to the clinic, completed paperwork and was seated in the chair being examined right at 10am.  The dentist examined me, gave the front office my estimate—I agreed and was back in the chair in less than 15 minutes with the work started.  After leaving the dental office I stopped at the Purple Pharmacia to obtain prescription meds without the prescription and was then on my way to stand in line to exit Mexico—except there was no line, maybe 20 people and it progressed quickly.  The border agent asked me, “what are you bringing out?” and I answered, “meds” and he said, “have a good day.” 

IMG_1014Purple Pharmacia/purple Christmas decorations!

It’s simply amazing the difference in price of Mexican meds versus US meds.  I use a anti-viral cream when I develop a cold sore—that cream in the US costs $30 for a tiny, tiny tube—in Mexico, $0.95!!!!  And it works just as well as the expensive US version!  Meloxicam, a long acting non-steriodal anti-inflammatory medication costs about $40/30 pills in the US.  In Mexico it is just over $5!! 

So, I go back on Wednesday to get the permanent crowns and the fillings—my exit from Mexico will most likely take much longer as it will be much later in the day when I leave.

Michael and Emmi held down the fort at the RV park.  When I got back we took a drive, visited Harbor Freight and the mall then found a Dairy Queen.

A good day—life is good.

Friday, November 25, 2016

A Wonderful Thanksgiving

When you can’t be with family the next best thing is friends who have become like family.  Our North Ranch group of friends is family—Larry and Geri, Tom and Sandy, Joe and Kathy.  Larry’s cousin Greg and his wife Roselyn joined us yesterday too and we had a fabulous afternoon.  Way, way too much food as usual and just the right of amount of conversation and laughter.  Another great Thanksgiving.

Today was “start getting ready to head to Yuma” day—we played musical vehicles moving trailers, trucks and finally the motorhome.  We both started packing—I am trying really hard not to load so much stuff which will then have to be unloaded when we come home.  There are grocery stores in Yuma and restaurants!  And, we are staying at the Escapees park with full hookups so I can use my washer/dryer—no reason to take the entire closet!

I’ve had dental work done in Mexico several times but this time I will try to take photos and post a detailed blog about the experience.  I am seeing a new to me dentist but one used by friends Mike and Eileen. 

A short blog—I hear a piece of pumpkin pie calling my name!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Thanksgiving Eve

Tuesday we spent the day finishing up the kitchen counter top project—at least finished as much as we could so Thanksgiving dinner could be cooked and served.  Michael installed the sink while I grouted the marble tile he had installed while I was in Arkansas.  When the cowboy plumbs the air has a tendency to turn blue but this time everything went according to plan—no cursing.  The water at North Ranch is too chlorinated and he installed an extra cold water filter under the sink—a very good thing—I’m not fond of chlorinated coffee!  We still need to install the back splash but that will have to wait until after Thanksgiving and after our trip to Yuma for dental work. 
Today we made a trip to the grocery store—at 11am every checkout counter was open and the store was hopping.  Lunch was at our favorite Mexican food spot and then we headed home to the pooch.  The pooch is now wearing her Good Life No Bark Collar thanks to IdahoRV—it’s NOT a shock collar.  It has three modes—vibration/audible to only her/audible to Emmi and us.  Last season I ordered a shock collar.  The one and only time Emmi wore the collar was a supreme disaster and we returned the thing to Amazon.  She remembers that awful shock collar and when she got her first vibration yesterday while wearing the new vibration collar it was an instantaneous recall—she was afraid she was going to be shocked.  She is a smart dog—she barks at her ball or at someone coming to the door when not wearing the collar.  But when wearing the collar there was no howling when we went to the grocery store and out to lunch.  Could it be this easy????
DSC_4079Come on Mom, you are lagging behind!
We are so thankful for our families and friends—we wish you all a wonderful Thanksgiving Day.  We have friends coming for a late lunch—my mouth is watering all ready!

Flowergirl—yes, Chuck is the one who tried to die on us this past summer—he spent three months and one week in one hospital or another.  He is doing well—back to the humorous, joke cracking self we all love so much!

Monday, November 21, 2016

Happy Birthday Mom

Family, friends, shopping, eating, talking, laughter and a successful surprise birthday party—all packed into a long weekend—priceless!  I flew to Arkansas on Thursday afternoon—my nephew Trenton works in Little Rock and was off work just in time to retrieve me at the airport. 

Friday morning we—Mom, my sister Ann and I—piled into my niece’s vehicle and headed out for a day of shopping and lunch.  We visited Hot Springs National Park where the leaves still have lots of color left--


DSCN3504DSCN3506Niki and me being silly!  Lunch was simply fantastic at a Latino restaurant—Rolando’s--and for dessert we visited a place with an appropriate name—Fat Bottomed Girl Cupcake Place—yep, those cupcakes were to die for and would most certainly give you a fat bottom! Winking smile

Back over in our neck of the woods I attended a school basketball game—the first in a long, long time!  My great-niece Elizabeth who is 14 plays on her school team—saw folks I knew and enjoyed the game—they won!

DSCN3540Elizabeth is in the white uniform in the middle of the three blue clad girls—the one with the long ponytail.

Saturday, Mom’s actual birthday we spent the day visiting with her and trying not to spill the beans about the surprise party planned for Sunday.  The entire family—14 of us—gathered for a wonderful dinner that evening. 

Sunday—well, did we pull off the surprise??  She never had a clue until she walked into the church hall Sunday afternoon.  It was a special afternoon visiting with friends and family—Mom looked beautiful and was so excited!  We served different flavors of pound cakes made by my sister and my sister-in-law—more chances for a fat bottom!!Winking smile It was just a super special day and I am so blessed to have the family I do!

The rest of these photos were taken by my sister-in-law Vicky who has a photography business—Candid Captures.

Barnes'-002My brother and his family with Mom and Chuck.

Danny and Ann-002My sister Ann, her husband Danny with Mom and Chuck

Ross Ann and me-002Mom’s three childrenNiki Elizabeth and Leah-002Granddaughter Niki and great-granddaughters Elizabeth and Leah with Mom and Chuck.

It was a jam packed weekend and I enjoyed every minute of it except that 3am wake up for my 5:50am flight this morning—UGH!  There was a happy husband and pooch waiting to see me.  Geri was kind enough to have made supper for us—homemade chicken noodle soup—even the noodles were homemade—YUM!  It’s a little cool and damp in Arizona—it rained a significant amount while I was gone.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

ATVing And Rabbits

Michael and Emmi joined the rest of the gang for an ATV ride yesterday—I stayed home.  I am flying to Arkansas on Thursday to see my family and celebrate my Mom’s 80th birthday—I needed to finish up some HOA stuff and I had an appointment for a haircut.

The haircut was OK—I went back to Wickenburg this afternoon for a re-do of the haircut and now it’s better.  The young woman is young, 22 years old and maybe I can get her trained??? Smile

Here are some photos Michael took yesterday—they were out behind Vulture Peak south of Wickenburg.


Michael is still working on the tile, I worked on HOA stuff again this morning and we enjoyed happy hour with Larry and Geri—Deb and Merv flew home to Minnesota and snow today.

I hate rabbits—just another dang varmit in my book—an overgrown rat!  Yesterday I noticed the rabbits had nibbled on the basil plants.  Last night Michael and I were sitting outside enjoying the evening—I thought about moving the basil to higher ground on one of the outside tables but forgot.  Well, here’s the basil today--

IMG_5712Yep—gone—blasted rabbits!

I think I will leave the laptop at home and update you all (ya’ll, since I am heading south) when I get back on Monday. 

Monday, November 14, 2016

Busy Monday

At Saturday’s garage sale our friend Mike McFall had a Nikon D5000 DSLR camera for sale at a very reasonable price—I thought about it and decided against buying it.  When we married Michael had a Pentax 35mm and I used it some before we graduated to digital.  I’ve always been a point and shoot kind of girl but have been thinking of trying a DSLR.  Not wanting to spend the money until I was sure that type camera was for me I had been looking at used cameras off and on.

Last night I sent Mike a text asking if he had sold his camera—nope—so I decided it was meant for me!  And my dear husband decided he was buying—earned himself a whole bunch of points!!  Mike sold me the camera, an 18-55 lens and a 55-200 lens, a fantastic camera bag/backpack and a tripod for a great price—THANKS Mike--now the learning begins!


Last night the Minnesota gang came for dinner—I tried a Pioneer Woman dessert—chocolate pie—to die for!! 

A homeowners association meeting consumed my morning and the cowboy has started working on the kitchen countertops—makes for interesting meal preparation—but I’m not complaining! 

Tonight the Minnesota gang along with Joe and Kathy plus Tom and Sandy joined us out in the desert at Sunset Point to watch the moon rise.  I took the new camera but as I said, I have lots to learn—here are my first attempts--

DSC_4024DSC_4049Michael had a large flashlight illuminating the crested saguaro with the moon behind it.

DSC_4051Not so great but there was a tiny opening in the middle of the crested saguaro and we could see the moonlight through that opening.  The rest of my moon shots were not so great—lots to learn!

Life is good!

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Minnesotan Invasion

Larry was born and raised in northern Minnesota not far from the Canadian border and Geri’s family moved to that same small town.  Larry has lots of siblings and on Wednesday his sister Deb and her husband Merv came to visit.  We’ve had a ball getting to know these people—just the most down to earth, nicest people, just like Larry and Geri!  Thursday morning Larry and Deb’s cousin Greg with his wife Rosalyn joined us—they are work camping at Blake Ranch RV Park in Kingman. 

Off we went, heading out across the desert on the ATVs with Box Canyon as our destination.  It was a perfect weather day for an ATV ride—the river had way more water than we were expecting for this time of year.

IMG_5678The Minnesota gang.


Back home we all gathered at Larry and Geri’s for burgers on the grill and more visiting. 

Saturday was the day for the North Ranch bi-annual yard sale.  We sold a few things but purchased $$$ than we sold—that’s not the way it’s supposed to work is it??  Our bargain of the day was a brand new screen door for $5! 

Tonight we joined Larry, Geri, Deb and Merv for dinner at the Tasty Freez in downtown Wickenburg—they are known for their pizza but as we had pizza last night Michael and I elected to have fish and chips.  We caught a lot of grief for eating fish in the desert!  The Tasty Freez is also known for its ice cream which of course we all had to have.


Life is good except for our howling dog!

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Happy Birthday

Many, many years ago I made a conscious decision not to have children and I’ve never regretted that decision.  But—if I had decided to have children I would want a daughter just like my sweet niece Niki—today is Niki’s birthday and I hope it was a great day for her!  She’s a sweet, kind person through and through.  Niki is a nurse and beloved by her patients.  She’s a great wife/mother/daughter/granddaughter.  We love you Niki!  See you soon!


And here’s another sweet child—not sure what she is doing but she loves those sunglasses!

Tuesday we left the Emmi girl with Geri and Larry—we were on a mission!  Off to Phoenix to buy tile for the kitchen countertops and we were successful.  We made a pre-Thanksgiving Costco run and had lunch at Five Guys. 

Sandy and Tom arrived on Monday evening—we all gathered at Larry and Geri’s Tuesday for a great evening of catch-up and dinner.  Today it was home owner’s association business—a meeting and a work session with the systems administrator who is trying to educate us as to the ins and outs of Google Chromebooks.

So much for Emmi’s separation anxiety cure—we had a setback today, dang it—anyone out there with ideas???   The cowboy started the kitchen countertop project this afternoon—it’s gonna be a messy week or so!

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Say It Isn’t So

qzBut I’m sorry to say, it is so—we do have mosquitoes this year—never before in the southwest have we experienced biting bugs but for some strange reason this year we have mosquitoes.  There are so many of the dang things there must be standing water—hard to believe—but we wouldn’t have the dang things otherwise???  North Ranch has its own sewer treatment plant with an outlet lagoon—the guy who caretakes this system swears the water is so treated it couldn’t have mosquitoes but we think he’s dreaming?? Smile  Where else would the little buzzing, biting things find a place to breed—we are after all in the desert!! 

Larry and Geri have been trimming their oleanders--we took some of the clippings and planted them hoping they will root—if so, we will have a fast growing hedge in front of the house.  I’ve received some comments from folks concerned about the “poisonous” oleanders.  We’ve researched the plants—here’s what Wikipedia has to say.  We don’t intend to make tea from the leaves, roast marshmallows with the sticks or feed any part of the tree to Emmi.  We won’t take our oleander clippings out into the desert and dump them as one North Ranch resident did angering the BLM and the rancher who leases the land—the oleander is poisonous to cattle and horses.  Any lot owner in North Ranch who plants oleander along the outside fence where cattle might be able to sneak a snack—evidently the plants taste sweet—have to reinforce their fencing making it cattle proof. 

Yesterday after lunch I said, “I think we should take a drive.”  Well, the cowboy decided an ATV ride would fit the bill and rounded up Larry and Geri to go with us.  We thought to ride up Round Mountain but ran out of time—Larry and Geri had a previous evening engagement and we needed to get back.  It was great to be in the Can-Am with Emmi seated in her own spot and not on my lap aggravating my cranky hip!  It was a perfect temp afternoon.


Today we’ve been rather lazy—I even took an afternoon nap, something I seldom do.  I did bake bread for lunch—very good.

I ordered a 1/4 inch foot for the Pfaff sewing machine I leave in Arizona.  The last 1/4 inch foot I ordered wasn’t a true 1/4 inch and the cowboy had to drill out the hole so I could move the needle over to get that important, true 1/4 inch seam.  This foot is dead on—and it came from China!

Twice now we’ve left Emmi home alone, the first time for close to two hours, the second time—tonight, we left her for 45 minutes—no howling—I have a recorder we leave on.  We are following the steps to cure separation anxiety I found on the internet.  She has always been OK if we both go outside during the day, or even if I’m gone and Mike is outside for a couple hours.  We’ve made the mistake of “cue-ing” her that we are going to be gone for a while—treats, telling her to be good, etc.—and that’s what we are trying to fix.  She HOWLS and will HOWL for hours when left alone so our neighbor on the south tell us.  Now, one of us leaves, the other stays for a while doing normal activities then walks out—no treats, no talking to Emmi, nothing.  We close the blinds and leave on the TV.  So far, so good!


Friday, November 4, 2016

Well It’s Official

For the first time since I was old enough to vote I will not be voting in the presidential election.  No ballot in todays’ mail.  As I said in the last blog, this is partly my fault as I did not ask our local clerk and recorder to send my ballot to Arizona but you would think two weeks would be time enough for a piece of mail to be re-sent from Montana to Arizona.  Michael’s ballot arrived a week ago—what happened to mine???  And as I also said in the last blog—if it had to happen I’m glad it happened this election—I’m no fan of either candidate! 

Friday night pizza with Larry and Geri—our local pizza place which we love is changing owners.  Sure hope they don’t mess with the pizza recipe!

Our mornings are cool and the daytime temperatures in the high 70’s—much better that the high 80’s!  We took a very long walk in the desert this morning.

On the local Wickenburg Area Online Garage Sale Facebook page I noticed an advertisement for “lemongrass.”  There was a phone number to text--I purchased two containers of lemongrass and planted it in the flower bed—it smells divine!!!  And maybe it will repel some of these dang mosquitoes we have this year in the desert—lots of people are complaining about mosquitoes and when we first arrived I had lots of bites. 

Really need to get out with the camera and take some blog worthy photos! 

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Trips To Wickenburg

Still no ballot—maybe I can just say after the election, “I didn’t vote for either of those clowns???”  I should have arranged to have our absentee ballots mailed to Arizona but I didn’t.  On the other hand, the ballots were mailed from our local post office on October 14—seems that should have been enough time to get them turned around and on their way to Arizona but no, the post office at home called today and my ballot just showed up at their office again today.  Oh well—I really don’t want to vote in this election unless we have another choice hiding somewhere????

We’ve been to Wickenburg every day this week—Monday and Tuesday to pick up yard sale stuff we purchased and today to get a metal electrical box so the cowboy could install a ceiling fan in our bedroom.  At 5pm this afternoon we have a fan—I am thrilled—see how little it takes to make me happy??? 

Larry has been “logging” at their place trimming trees and wanted an oleadner bush gone—we took it off his hands and planted it in our front yard—we are going to start a hedge row! 

Tonight at Larry and Geri’s as we were leaving we spotted one of the resident owls on the next door neighbor’s antenna—the waxing cresent moon and the evening star were visible behind the owl—would have made a great photo!  Just a bit later we were cleaning up all the ceiling fan install debris and playing ball with Emmi when I spotted the owl again—this time on our neighbor’s antenna.  Those are big birds!  I stuck close to Emmi—didn’t want her being supper!

And the resident princess!


I made lemon cupcakes this afternoon—it is Ms. Pat’s birthday and I made a cupcake delivery to her, Jim, Ellie, Larry and Geri received deliveries and one couple in the ATVing gang here in the park had an ATV accident on Sunday—Susan needed cupcakes most definitely!  That only left four cupcakes out of the whole recipe for Michael and me to consume—that’s a very good thing!