Monday, December 8, 2008

"Settling In" a Little

It was a dark and stormy night, windy and rainy. At 7:00am, the storm was really blowing, and thunder and lightning added to the fun. Right now (9:15am), the air is clean and clear but the temperature is still in the 40’s.

The desert needs the rain for sure, but I was disappointed in one thing: late last week I applied some major caulking to stop a leak between the casita roof and the roof of its porch. This morning the leak was still there, so we have some additional investigating and working to do.

See what happens when full-time RVers start getting a little piece of property!!!

We also start getting more involved in the community as we “settle in” a little.
Last week the Elks Club sponsored a Red Cross blood drive. Although Suzy can no longer donate, she accompanied me to the facility, where I was asked if I would be a “Double Red” donor.

The represen-tative explained that my A negative blood type is in great demand, and I could really help by going through aphaeresis. In this process, twice the amount of blood is drawn (that’s why it’s “double red”), but it’s pumped directly into a centrifuge spinning at 7000 rotations per minute (that’s pretty fast!), isolating the red blood cells and pumping the white cells, platelets, and plasma right back into me through the same needle!

In the first two pictures, you can see my new blue neck brace. I bought it for sleeping because I’ve been having some pretty bad neck pain. The blood drive was the first time I’d used it (not because I’d be sleeping, but because I’d not be moving much). It was very comfortable, and has helped reduce the pain.

The apheraesis took a few minutes longer than a normal blood draw to fill this bag with just the red cells, but they gave me extra cookies and juice for being “special.”

Thursday evening, friends Vicki and Ken came over for social hour, and we ended up ordering in a really good pizza and salad for dinner. Vicki had been looking for some help building their own blog, and I offered my “vast expertise.”

They are a neat couple, and we hope to get together with them again soon. We took their picture, and they returned the favor.

Friday evening was the monthly Friday Fish Fry, which we like to attend. The volunteers do a great job deep frying the cod sections (or optional chicken strips) so they aren’t greasy. While eating we sat with a member of the park’s Board of Directors and his wife (active on the Landscape Committee), chatting about the special park membership meeting of two days before. Board members and the Bylaws Committee presented and discussed a few changes to the Bylaws, and a proposal for allocating a special assessment. There was a large to-do about the allocation of the assessment, not its necessity.

The special assessment is needed to pay for an unexpected capital cost last year. Everybody pays it, and everybody understands that. Under the Board’s proposal, the $300 special assessment is paid by separate check, and the $300 is added to the value of our property, to be recovered when we leave the park. That sounds good, and it will undoubtedly pass. However, it is unfavorable, actually a penalty, to us and to the others who do a lot of traveling.

When we are out of the park, our site is put into the rental pool, and 75% of the rental fees are credited to us to be used only for paying our annual Maintenance and Operations fees (M&Os) and special assessments. While that doesn’t add to our property value, it would mean less cash out of our pocket for this special assessment. When the Board’s proposal is passed next week, we’ll have to cough up $300 that would otherwise have been paid by our share of the rental income. True, we’ll get it back in the great someday, but that’s a long time away, and we are in a recession right now, not knowing how our IRAs are holding on. Double whammy! It’s even worse when you consider that, being out of the park, we aren’t using any park facilities, water, sewer, laundry, etc. By our being away, our rented site adds to the park’s operating income and somebody else is using the facilities.

Speaking of the laundry, last week when we did our wash, there were three washers out of service, and one of the dryers. At the special meeting, it was announced that the park was buying ten new front-load washers. We were given special instructions to only use liquid laundry detergent, only the high-efficiency low-sudsing variety, and no more than ¼ cup. What will we do with half a box of powder detergent? I guess we’ll store it in our casita’s storage room until we go traveling again.

This weekend was devoted to church activities. Saturday our parish held its annual Christmas Bazaar.

Suzy sold raffle tickets,

and I helped with the burgers and hot dogs. Sunday morning we resumed our forty-plus year practice of reading the scriptures at Mass. It felt good to be back in this form of ministry.

This week we’ll do our Christmas decorating (we hope). We’ll put in some pictures next time, in … Our Life on Wheels.


  1. Wow you guys have been busy... Those darn leaks can be a pain... Hope you find a fix for it really soon... Have a great day...


  2. That machine looks just like the one Scott used for his Bome Marrow Transplant,,probably is!!

    I used to give a lot of blood, but since they discovered my prostrate Cancer, can't do it anymore.

    Scott was a highly recognized and honored Blood Donor,,,he gave at every opportunity. It totaled many, many GALLONS!!

    Keep having fun!!!

    Merry Christmas

    Mike & Pat

  3. You guys are really busy....but it sounds like you are having fun. It's cold down here in the Texas Valley, too. It was close to freezing last night but the sun is shining today and it's warming up pretty fast.

    Take care and have lots of fun...hope to see you in February.

    Hugs.....Pat and Mike

  4. Sorry about your neck pain Jerry. I have a similar pillow I bought at a yard sale and use it when I'm at the computer and my neck gets tired. It isn't memory foam but it works pretty good.

    Can't wait to see your decorations.
    Joy and Phil

  5. You two have been busy and sound as if you’re enjoying the full timing life style as much as we do. Your casita looks very seasonal, everything just the right size.
    Wishing you a blessed Christmas from cold Denver where we are visiting our daughter and son-in-law who are anxiously awaiting their first baby in March.
    Joe and Alice

  6. Love your Oklahoma T-shirts! From an Normanite


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