Wednesday, July 28, 2010

New bird feeder

The observant reader will notice that we have a new bird feeder. We got the first one for the cats but we are getting as much or more enjoyment than the cats. We have seen American Goldfinch, Indigo Bunting, Chickadees, Tufted Titmouse, Woodpecker, Oriole, Cardinal and others since we have put up the new feeder when we arrived in the Kansas City area. Yes we are still in the same place due to Jo's slow recovery from her surgery. Only Jo could have a successful surgery but still have the same symptoms as before :-(

What was supposed to be a two and a half months stay has turned into at least a five month stay and some of the hottest and humid days we can ever remember and we lived in the KC area for many years before we started full-timing. The weather though has not dampened our spirits that much since we are used to summers in this area and we have a well insulated fifth wheel with two air conditioners so we are comfortable even in this heat. If either one of us ever needs a convalescing period we hope it is in this area because we have friends and family and our regular doctors. We are most discouraged by Jo not feeling any better than she did before the surgery and want to head somewhere as soon as we can but not before we know for sure.

We have a new bird feeder because the old one was destroyed by the high winds in Amarillo. You have to have been in Amarillo to truly understand because man it is real windy there. Bob was trying to put the bird feeder up and it slipped out of his hand as he tried to balance himself on the ladder in a particularly strong wind gust. The feeder hit the pavement and then did cartwheels as it slowly broke apart. It must have hit the pavement at least ten times before coming to rest in a number of places. Then the pieces kept getting blown by the wind as Bob reached down to pick them up. When finally all the pieces were in hand Bob triumphantly beat the remaining carcass against the dumpster in defiance. Another lesson learned to not try to hang the bird feeder in high winds :-)

The bird feeder in the picture is actually the second bird feeder purchased to replace the original one. That bird feeder did not hang very well from the ladder so it is now full of seed hanging from a branch outside the rear of the fifth wheel near the one in the picture. The Cardinals and the Buntings like that one while the Goldfinches like the tubular one. The Tufted Titmouse and Chickadees use both feeders. The final addition to our backyard bird habitat is a hanging suet feeder. Bob was working on our storage unit and came across it so it is now hanging from a branch just past the other two feeders, all visible from the back windows.

We know the birds are going to miss us if we can ever leave because the feeder that the Cardinals like needed cleaning and refilling. While doing this we got some uncomplimentary chirps from one of the female Cardinals. That's all Bob needs is another female to tell him what to do next, isn't a wife and two female cats enough :- )

Till next time,

Bob & Jo

Monday, July 19, 2010

121 comfort index

121, that was the 'comfort' index just recently where we are currently located in the Kansas City area. If it is over 120 shouldn't it be the 'discomfort' index?

Luckily we bought a second air conditioner for the bedroom and we are glad that we did. Along with that we have the dual pane windows and the astro foil insulation. In the 10 months we have owned our Condo on Wheels and have been full-timing we have seen temperatures as low as 17 degrees and as high as the aforementioned comfort index and have been comfortable in all extremes. We also have been in some noisy parks that we know the dual pane windows have helped cut down the noise. Plus they reduce the condensation insideNow we when we started out full-timing we PLANNED on daytime temps in the 70's and overnight in the 50's and you can see how well that worked out. I am sure you have heard the old Yiddish Proverb, 'Man plans, God laughs'!.

Now we when we started out full-timing we PLANNED on daytime temps in the 70's and overnight in the 50's and you can see how well that worked out. I am sure you have heard the old Yiddish Proverb, 'Man plans, God laughs'!

Till next time,

Bob & Jo

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Holbrook, Arizona 2010 Stopover (and Winslow, Arizona too)

We cannot believe how much activity we jammed into this short stopover visit. About 20 miles away is an entrance to the Petrified Forest National Park on Route 180. Taking this entrance will allow you to see the Petrified Forest first and then the Painted Desert which we guess technically is part of the Petrified Forest National Park.

At this entrance Jo was able to buy a Golden Age Passport which for $10 got both of us into that park and all parks in the future. Add to that a discount on RV campgrounds and considering it would have cost us $10 just for a day pass that day it is a really good deal. Bob commented to Jo that she was becoming even more attractive and that maybe, just maybe, this marriage might last :-) We got a chuckle out of that and for those keeping track we just celebrated our 19th wedding anniversary and 22 years of knowing each other.

We spent a day going through the Petrified Forest National Park/Painted Desert. The next day we went about 30 miles to Winslow AZ because we had good things about the restaurant in the La Posada Hotel. All we can say is WOW this is now one of our favorite places to eat and was the reason for an earlier blog posting about a so-called weather delay ( that really was an excuse to eat one more time in the Turquoise Room. You cannot go wrong with Arizona Green Chile Eggs or french toast or the corn maiden. Whatever you do do not leave the place without trying prickly pear bread pudding. We also did some time 'Standing on the Corner in Winslow Arizona" at a site dedicated to the Eagles song. This is definitely a place we want to visit again. For more detailed information read on.

Petrified wood was formed over 200 million years ago when logs washed into an ancient river system and were buried quick enough and deep enough by massive amounts of sediment and debris also carried in the water, that oxygen was cut off and decay slowed to a process that would now take centuries. Minerals, including silica dissolved from volcanic ash, absorbed into the porous wood over hundreds and thousands of years crystallized within the cellular structure, replacing the organic material as it broke down over time. Sometimes crushing or decay left cracks in the logs. Here is an interesting fact, P\petrified wood at Petrified Forest National Park is almost solid quartz, weighing in at 168 pounds per cubic foot. It's so hard, you can only cut it with a diamond tipped saw!

Petrified wood was used by the ancestral Puebloan people for tools like arrowheads, knives and scrapers. But they also used it as building material. Be sure and visit Agate House which is a small, eight-room pueblo once built with blocks of petrified wood laid in a clay mortar.

The colorful layers of the painted desert formed in the triassic period when meandering tropical rivers deposted layers of mud and clay. Some of these layers are due to volcanic ash choking up the rivers and altering to clay.

The La Posada Hotel, the “last great railroad hotel,” was built in 1929 for the Santa Fe Railway, La Posada is truly one of America’s treasures. La Posada embodies the visions of both Mary Elizabeth Jane Colter, the hotel’s renowned architect, and Allan Affeldt, its current owner. But the story really begins with Fred Harvey, who “civilized the west” by introducing linen, silverware, china, crystal, and impeccable service to railroad travel. (He was so legendary that MGM made a movie called The Harvey Girls starring Judy Garland.) Harvey developed and ran all the hotels and restaurants of the Santa Fe Railway, eventually controlling a hospitality empire that spanned the continent.

In the 1920s, Harvey decided to build a major hotel in the center of northern Arizona. “La Posada”—the Resting Place—was to be the finest in the Southwest. Construction costs alone exceeded $1 million in 1929. Total budget with grounds and furnishings was rumored at $2 million (about $40 million in today’s dollars). They chose Winslow, then (as now) the Arizona headquarters for the Santa Fe Railway. Winslow was ideally situated for a resort hotel since everything to see and do in northern Arizona is a comfortable day’s drive. They asked Colter to design the new hotel.

Colter worked for the Fred Harvey Company from 1905 until her retirement in the 1950s. Although famous for her magnificent buildings at the Grand Canyon, she considered La Posada her masterpiece. Here she was able to design or select everything from the structures to the landscape, furniture, maids’ costumes, and dinner china. Many people consider this the most important and most beautiful building in the Southwest. We really enjoyed just walking through the hotel.

This is definitely a place we will visit again, in fact we plan to on our way back to the Phoenix area for winter this year. We will probably stay closer to Winslow since the Turquoise Room will be visited time and time again along with the Canyon de Chelly National Monument and Meteor Crater.

Photos from this visit have been added to

Till next time,

Bob & Jo

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Goodyear AZ 2010 (Phoenix area)

Our time in Goodyear Arizona just west of Phoenix was where we really enjoyed our lifestyle change for an extended period of time. Living in the RV was never the issue thankfully. We already have posted on how wonderful the weather there was and to be honest that contributed greatly to our feelings. An El Nino year is not recommended to be your first year of full-time RV living is all we will say here. We also enjoyed a Hawaiian Luau and we posted on that, it was hard to imagine it was winter time when we were outside in shorts and sweating by the pool and palm trees. We also already posted our exciting day at the Cactus League, we had so much fun and the weather was so good that even professional baseball was enjoyable : )

Being there for a month and a half we did not do as much sightseeing as you would think. We mostly enjoyed the good weather, it was nice to sit outside in our lawn chairs and read and just relax. We drove up to South Mountain Park which is the largest city park in the world to get a panoramic view of the area. We love zoos so we went to the Wildlife World Zoo and Aquarium which was neat. We saw some old planes and learned some history at the Commemorative Air Museum. We toured the Arizona Cardinals Stadium which is officially named the University of Phoenix Stadium and saw how the playing field is brought in for games and rolled outside after. We also visited the Hall of Flame Firefighting Museum where we saw an incredible collection of firefighting vehicles dating back to 1725 and other firefighting gear.

We are not sure whether to call this next place a sightseeing stop or an eating stop, Organ Stop Pizza in Mesa AZ. Has to be a sightseeing spot because it houses the world's largest Wurlitzer Theater/Theatre Pipe Organ which is played throughout the day but it also serves some pretty good pizza. We found some new all time favorites to eat at while in Goodyear. The one most visited is TJ's Homestyle Restaurant and mostly for breakfast. Paradise Bakery was the next most visited place which serves a menu similar to Panera Bread but maybe a little better. Diners Drive Inns and Dives led us to Giuseppe's and La Piazza and they both were excellent. Mexican food is pretty good in the area as you can imagine. The best was probably in the deli at the Food City grocery store although Garcia's and Manuel's were also good. We also ate at some chains that we really like. Among the chains in the area are Cracker Barrel, Old Spaghetti Factory, McCormick and Schmicks, and In-and-Out to name a few.

This is definitely a place we will visit again, in fact we plan to winter there this year.

Photos from this visit have been added to

Till next time,

Bob & Jo

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Monday, July 12, 2010

You gotta try this!

We know we have not blogged for awhile but things have not changed too much for us. We are still in Peculiar MO in the Kansas City area. Our next big blog entry will probably be about the Phoenix area and it will be a big post and lots of pictures on Flickr since we spent a month and a half there.

What you have to try is the Memphis Chicken at Bob Evans. We know that some of our readers don't like chain restaurants but what they fail to realize is that the chain restaurants started out small and grew bigger because the food was good. We are not the diehard BBQ police either as we don't care how the preparation is, dry rub or wet rub, hickory or mesquite, etc. nor do we care if a chain restaurant, basically our mantra is if the food is good we go.

For a limited time Memphis Chicken is available at Bob Evans. You can get $1 off the regular price on Monday for what they call Memphis Mondays. We have been there for the last two Mondays, that is how good it is. As good as the chicken is Memphis Chicken is served with some of the best mac-n-cheese and sweet potato fries we have ever had. The portions are also huge, both times the two piece meal was both breasts. The first time we ate there we swear the breasts were from a Capon or a very large Cornish Cross. Needless to say we get at least two meals out of each order.

For those interested Capons are castrated roosters that are allowed to grow to almost turkey size and have very tender, flavorful meat. Bob used to raise Cornish Cross chickens when he was a youngster because they are so versatile. At 2-3 pounds they become the cornish hens you buy in the store. At 8 weeks you can butcher them as fryers at between 4 and 6 pounds. If you wait until 12-13 weeks they will weigh about 10-12 pounds. Then hens are great egg layers too, for about 6 months straight 48 hens layed 49 eggs a day we kid you not.

We also found out a tidbit about chain restaurants that we did not know. About 5 years ago Bob Evans bought the Mimi's chain which we also like to eat at, especially for breakfast. The midwest is the dividing line so far, Mimi's are found west of here and Bob Evans are found east of here. The Kansas City area is one lucky area where you can eat at both places but head first to Bob Evans if you like chicken and BBQ because you gotta try this and it is only available for a limited time.

Till next time,

Bob & Jo