Storrie Time

Well, our time at Storrie Lake State Park is about to end.  We have pretty much spent the summer here.  The weather has been really great, plus it’s close to town and has good Verizon signal.  I don’t watch a lot of TV, but there is good broadcast TV signal here, too.  Several of my friends have spent time here (Barbara, Roxanne, Annie, Nancy, Lorna, Ryan), and I’ve met some new folks (John, Jan, Renee, Patty, Brad, Dave).  And Riley got to make some new friends, too.

The weather is a big factor.  Here is the August weather in Las Vegas this year.  Highs in the 70’s and low 80’s, lows in the 50’s.  I’ll take it.

Las Vegas Weather

And here is Austin in August 2011, the last time I spent August there. (We’ve been on the road since 8/2/12.) Thirty five years of this is enough.  No more.

Austin Weather

Austin Weather

They have a Carnegie Library here, and I was able to get a temporary library card, so that was nice.  It’s a pretty place, sits on a whole block.  The homes surrounding the library block are being restored.

Carnegie Library

Carnegie Library

Library Square Houses

Library Square Houses

Renovation of a house across from the library into a gingerbread cottage.

Renovation of a house on the corner across from the library into a gingerbread cottage.

Las Vegas has a nice plaza, with the historic Plaza Hotel on one corner.  Threadbear is a quilt and yarn shop I visited a few times.  It’s just across the street from the Plaza Hotel.  There is a farmer’s market here on Saturday mornings, plus other major events like the Rough Riders biker rally in July.

Plaza

Plaza

We did a LOT of dog walking together.  We’d often do two-a-days.  Katie has a bad ankle and can only walk a short distance, then rides in the doggie stroller.

Riley walking with his friends Jake and Katie (Katie has a bad ankle and can only walk a short distance, then rides in the doggie stroller).

Riley walking with his friends Jake and Katie.  (And my friends Annie and Barbara.)

Awww, she's so cute.

Awww, she’s so cute.

I did a bunch of weaving on my new inkle loom.  I REALLY love making bands on it.  I have made a few things for my friends (belts, a dog leash, a camera strap) and have just finished some dog collars.  Probably will work up some stuff for my Etsy shop.

Dog Collars

Dog Collars

Weaving in the shade

On hot days (about 95 was the hottest in July) I took the inkle loom out to our shade structure.  Riley loves hanging out there and I would visit with John and/or Barbara.

So, we are about to head out of here tomorrow (9/3) and go to Santa Fe.  Iska and Larry are going on a trip and I get to house/pet sit.  Yay!  It will be good to visit with them a bit, and I love staying out there.  On the 18th we go up to Taos for a Lazy Daze ladies (Ladeze) gathering.  Then to Albuquerque for some Ford scheduled maintenance and the Balloon Fiesta.  Lots of fun times with good friends planned.

A couple more Storrie views:

I moved to the far north end. by the dam and boat ramp.  Nice view from there.

We moved to the far north end, by the dam and boat ramp, before the Labor Day weekend.  Nice view from there.  Moved back to the loop on Sunday.  It’s better (nicer, quieter) here.

Another lovely day

Another lovely day.  I will miss this.

[By the way – the dump station here is broken and closed.  They will not have it fixed this season.  We have been going to the RV park across from the Walmart since the end of July.  They charge $5.00 and just have you pull into an empty site to use the sewer connection.  FYI for anyone planning a visit.]

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Santa Rosa, NM

After Oliver Lee State Park, we headed northeast 200 miles to Santa Rosa Lake State Park.  I planned to stay the 14-day limit there.  But, there was almost no Verizon signal there.  My “Coverage” app, which gets their info from the carriers (Verizon, AT&T, etc.)  about signal coverage, showed good 3G, possible 4G, signal there.  Nope.  Occasionally I could get a 3G signal, but it would go away almost immediately.  Also, I couldn’t get much of a signal on my AT&T iPhone.  It’s hard to be without signal for more than 2-3 days.  Also, most of the sites are quite unlevel.  I did find one that was mostly level across from the rest rooms and stayed there.

Typical Santa Rosa SP Site

Typical Santa Rosa SP Site.

The site we ended up in.

The site we ended up in.

Anyway, we did stay there for 6 days, as I had arranged to get a General Delivery package from my folks.  Something had come that needed a signature, and I needed to get mail sent already.  Darn it!  I would have left within 2-3 days otherwise.  Plus, it was quite hot there.

So, we stayed and did a bit of hiking around.  I scooted in to town a few times, using my MiFi at the McDonald’s or at the Library.  On the way in to town the road goes past an auto transfer yard next to the railroad.  I had seen this on the Google Maps when researching the state park and town and thought it was weird.  Seemed like a lot of cars parked next to the railroad, with no businesses nearby.  When I got to Santa Rosa and passed by the site on the way to the park, it made sense.  The autos had window stickers on them.  They come there on trains, then get offloaded onto car carrier semi-trucks for delivery to dealerships.  There was always some activity going on – cars coming off and getting parked, or getting onto the semi’s.  I guess Santa Rosa is a central location with cheap land.  Anyway, I thought it was interesting.

Auto Transfer yard

Auto Transfer yard

Auto transfer yard loading

Auto transfer yard loading

While at Santa Rosa Lake I wove a shawl for my friend, Margaret, who I had met at Grand Tetons National Park back in 2012.  I took a picture to show what it takes to “warp” the loom in a small space.  The fold-up table that I got to use between the couches and/or outside is placed in the aisle with a peg on the end to wrap the yarn around.

Small Space Warping

Small Space Warping

Then the yarn is spooled up on the bar on the far side of the loom, and woven on the near side.  The woven cloth is wound around a bar on the near side as it’s worked.  Once the warp is all woven, it’s done.

Shawl in progress

Shawl in progress

Then cut it off and finish the ends.  It seemed like it would be hard to weave in a small space, but it’s workable.  And enjoyable.

Finishing the ends with hand-twisted fringe

Finishing the ends with hand-twisted fringe

Other sights around Santa Rosa:

Santa Rosa Library

Santa Rosa’s Moise Public Library

Santa Rosa Courthouse

Santa Rosa courthouse and square

Santa Rosa1

Santa Rosa is on the old “Route 66”

Next up, I will catch up on Storrie Lake State Park, where we are now.  Will try to get that posted in a day or 2.  Spoiler – I love, love Storrie Lake and Las Vegas, NM!  Four bars of 4G – yay!!  And ran into some blogging friends!

Back in Texas For a Few Months

It’s nice to be at my folks’ place on Lake Buchanan.  We are about 75 miles northwest of Austin.  I have a nice parking spot with a 30-amp hookup and water, and access to the benefits of a house (nice washer/dryer, long/hot showers, big kitchen, etc.).  And mostly it’s nice to be with my family.  I decided last year that I would stay around for a while this time and skip Quartzsite.  At least until it gets warm, when I will head back to the higher elevations of New Mexico.  Probably be here until about April or so.  While here I’m working on several projects.  Big projects include – installing new solar panels and controller/monitor, redoing the TV cabinet and installing a pantry.  Also, there are always small things to do.

My spot at Lake Buchanan

My spot at Lake Buchanan.  The lake is so low.  Normally you could see water just past my RV.

Riley and I got back in mid-November.  We got to have a nice Thanksgiving with family.  Then, in December, we did several shifts with Austin Sheltie Rescue at Barnes and Noble.  We have done this for the past few years at Christmas, wrapping gifts for customers for donations.  Riley hangs out in the pen looking handsome and getting some lovin’ from the customers, while I wrap gifts and visit with the other volunteers.  We raised some good funds, which help to pay down our vet bill.

Riley is in the ex-pen while Lucas (with Sunne) sniffs around.  Fran wrapped and brought Oreo, in the pen with Riley.

Riley is in the ex-pen while Lucas (with Sunne) checks things out.  Fran wrapped with me and brought Oreo, who is in the pen with Riley.

Back in Las Cruces, at the Farmer’s Market, I bought a small triangle loom and started weaving on it.  It’s OK, but got me thinking about taking up weaving on a traditional loom.  I went by Hill Country Weavers when in Austin to check it out.  It’s one of my favorite local yarn stores, but had never noticed any weaving items when there.  I talked to one of the saleswomen and turns out you can weave on a small loom, called a rigid-heddle loom.  They had a class coming up in mid-December, so I signed up.  You learn to weave and start a project in the 3-hour class, then are allowed to take the loom home for 2 weeks to see if you like it.  I did, I loved it!  In that 2 weeks I made about 10 scarves.  I ended up getting a Flip loom that folds.  It will be easy to use and store in the RV.

We had the whole family up at the lake for Christmas, like always.  My brother and S-I-L (George and Marie) flew in from Seattle, where they had moved last year after George took a job at Microsoft.  It was nice to be able to see them.  I didn’t think they’d get back to TX this year.  Marie is crafty like me, so we had fun going through my yarn stash (and my mom’s, too) and working with the loom together.  I got busy and made a couple of scarves for them to take back for the cold Washington winters.  Marie picked out a nice combination of burgundy and grey, and George asked for shades of black and grey.

Scarves for George and Marie

Scarves for  Marie and George

I learned a dominoes game called 42 from my nephew, Kevin, and there was a game going on a lot of the time.  Kevin and George are really expert at it.

Playing 42 - nephew Kevin, my Dad, nephew Tyler and George

Playing 42 – nephew Kevin, my Dad, nephew Tyler and George

By mid-December my dad and I had decided on the equipment we needed for the solar project.  Having done one system on my prior rig last December, we had some ideas of what to do the same or different this time.  I ordered the panels, charge controller and monitor online and got regular parts locally.  By the end of the month, we had removed the existing 85-watt panel, the controller, and wiring.  It took some thinking, but we finally decided on the new wiring route and where to mount the new controller and monitor.  We did most of the installation in January.  I’ll write a separate post with pics about all that soon.  I’ll do a post about the new TV/entertainment setup, too.  That took a lot of work, but turned out really nice.

I’ve been keeping busy with other things too.  I spent some time switching the expensive, catastrophic-only insurance that I’ve had for the past 1.5 years for a good Obamacare plan. I was able to get my coverage set up in mid-December and able to get an annual checkup with my regular doctor in January.   Also, I spent some time going through the stuff I had stored with my folks.  I had some clothes and yarn in a closet inside and some boxes in a 4’x4′ corner of my dad’s garage.  It’s been mostly too cold to work in the garage, but I did some work on a nice day recently, and we’re in a warm spell, so can do more these days.  I would like to get to a point where everything I own is with me in the RV, but I can’t seem to make myself get rid of my books, and some kitchen and craft items.  Last month I opened an Etsy shop online to sell scarves that I have woven.  I call it “A Wandering Weaver“.  Currently I’m working on a table runner.  Scarf season is almost over.

In January I had a birthday and my folks had a cake made with my Lazy Daze on it!  This is hand decorated with a pastry bag, and is such a close replica I almost couldn’t believe it.  What a fantastic cake!

Birthday cake

And it tasted as good as it looks

Next, I will write about the solar system we did.  Lot’s of RV’ers are interested in how others set up their systems, so I want to document it a bit.

One more picture.  We saw a little baby goat at the farmer’s market in Austin.  Riley could not be any less interested.

Baby goat at the farmer's market

“Booorrrrring!  Where are the snacks?”