Covid-19 and Home Sweet Home

May 2020 for the months of February to May. I am pretty sure somewhere along the line during the trip from AZ to CA and back to say goodbye to my sister I contracted Covid-19. I gassed up 10 different times and there were a lot of people, mostly from out-of-state by the amount of traffic heading south at the end of the day, in the Mammoth Lakes area for the skiing and getting fuel for the return trip.  Or …

Perhaps my sister had it. When I received a copy of her death certificate she had listed what was not a surprise, COPD for “years”. The other three: Acute chronic respiratory failure, bilateral pulmonary emboli (blood clots in her lungs), and unspecified pneumonia, all listed as “days”.  Hmmm.  Just a thought that crossed my mind.  I was at her side holding her hand, stroking her cheek or forehead, leaning over to talk to her for the majority of the ten days I was there.   Anyway, I was sick for three weeks and it seemed like a hybrid of a cold and the flu. Grateful I had gotten back home before it really hit me.

Plans to use up the last months of my New Mexico State Parks pass didn’t come to fruition because of Covid-19 and The Chiweenie Brothers and I settled in on our little piece of Arizona. Once feeling better I got busy with installing snake fencing along the chain link fence on the north side.  Shade cloth was put up along the east side of our cool cover, a cement block wall was put up between the casita and the laundry shed. It works as a chiweenie barrier to keep them in the back and unable to see anyone who happens to pass by, AND it’s snake proof. I planted some rescued cacti out in the front, and  I also had to dig up most of the succulents I planted in the back last fall as the 112 degree heat (triple digits for two weeks beginning in late APRIL!!) was frying them.  Thankfully the evaporative cooler works really well; as long as it’s below about 105 degrees.  Then it is just okay, but certainly better than not having one!

Being an introvert and a homebody the stay-at-home order from Governor Ducey didn’t bother me a bit until I couldn’t get outside. Then I did get a little stir crazy.   For a while it was even too hot/windy in the early mornings to even enjoy my coffee under the patio umbrella. Like the crazy weather a lot of you are having, it has been bouncing back and forth.  Last week we got back down into the 90s, then two days of 80s, and now the temps will begin marching toward triple digits again.

Nothing prettier than cactus flowers

Thanks for stopping by 2DogsTravel.  We’re mostly staying put for the summer so I can keep the new transplants watered, but hopefully we can take a couple of short trips. I will definitely be researching places to go for next year, and I may publish a few destinations we are thinking about. Next month I  have an interesting person post to share. Hugs, Shawna

Lots of books were read over the months of winter and during the stay-at-home order.

Unspeakable Things by Jess Lourey. Fictional novel inspired by a true event. ****

In an Instatnt by Suzanne Redfearn. ***** five stars.  Written from an interesting perspective, this book tells the story of a horrific accident and its aftermath; how each person’s character is revealed as they make life altering decisions during their struggle for survival.

Thief River Falls by Brian Freeman.  I thought this book was just okay (THIS wouldn’t happen! I kept saying to myself.  How stupid) because of an implausible story line until there very end when the story line is explained.  *****

The Other Wife. Another ***** five star read. Well written with lots of surprises.

The Devil’s Work by Mark Edwards. **** Well written thriller that bounces back and forth between 1999 and 2015 with, of course, a surprise ending.  Only four star simply because, I think, it wasn’t quite as good as the others I have read so far this year.

The Stillwater Girls by Minka Kent, ****. Full of surprises and a happy ending.

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn (author of Gone Girl, A MUST READ!). A who-done-it murder mystery about a dysfunctional family with a surprise ending.  Four stars.

Rain Will Come by Thomas Holgate, ****.  Fast-paced thriller abiut a serial killer, but with a twist. Not for the squeamish although it isn’t TOO bad.

Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rowls.  Re-read this classic which I both love and hate.

Twisted Twenty-Six by Janet Evanovich.  Another light-hearted Stephanie Plum read.  Grandma Mazur marries into the mob!

When We Believed in Mermaids by Barbara O’Neal, ****. Nice coming-of-age story. A nice, but hard to believe, love story. A nice read about forgiveness.

And last-but-not-least Girl Next Door by Willow Rose.  *** three stars.  I found this one just okay.  When the author named a male cat Misty I was instantly put off. The story line about a serial killer and woman who leaves an abusive relationship ending up in the same town with her high school sweetheart who is a detective that speaks like a woman would speak put me off.  Then the cat is miraculously described as a female cat toward the end.  Who edited this???

Earthship Biotecture

It’s about 40 miles, give or take, to Taos along a mountainous two lane narrow highway that twists this way and that. I can see where a semi going a little too fast could lose it on this road. Nonetheless, it’s a beautiful drive especially once you are over the mountain and reach the canyon bottom. It’s green, green, green, with beautiful pines and lush grass along the road.

Old buildings become visible as we get closer to town, I spy a campground along the creek and make a mental note in case we come this way again. Today, we’re out of ice and need food stuff so it won’t be here we camp tonight.

I  looked up the address for Walmart before we left Coyote Creek. Once we arrive I notice it’s a rather small store even though it has the Super Center logo. I have my list and off I go leaving the Chiweenie Brothers in the van. They never like this, but gosh they should be used to it by now!! Nope. They howl like they’re being abandoned forever. Sheesh.

Once inside I can’t find half of what is on my list and it suddenly dawns on me that there is no fresh food in this store! No fresh vegetables, no fresh meat. They have frozen stuff, but nothing fresh. And no water dispenser either. I get what I can, along with some ice and head back to the van. I feel lucky they had ice!

I plug our probable destination into the GPS just to get us going in the correct direction, and it takes us to a different part of town where I spot about three other grocery stores which, no doubt, have fresh stuff!! Having bought things at Wally to “make do” I bypass these markets and we head out of town. Along the way I stop at an obvious tourist trap section with pottery and the like. I spot a metal goat sculpture that I fall in love with, but settle for taking its picture rather than making a purchase.

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The scenery beyond Taos is nothing to brag about. It’s pretty much boring high desert. UNTIL we come to Earthship Biotecture. What in the world is this? Funny houses in odd shapes, weird windows, and an all around general feel of fairies living here has me searching for a place to pull over. Turns out it’s a subdivision for earth friendly, self-sufficient, minimal impact on resources, ect. homes. Odd, individual family homes some half buried in the earth to conserve energy, solar panels, wind power, upcycled materials.  Really interesting.  Read more about it HERE

Farther on we cross the Rio Grande Canyon. It’s just a bridge across the Rio Grande River, but it’s impressive in height and scope.

We head west ong Hwy 64 and start pulling out of the high desert and once again enter the Carson National Forest.  Some beautiful meadows with old buildings and thunderclouds again beginning to gather.

Thanks for coming along on our adventures. Hugs, Shawna

CURRENT READ: The Last Boleyn by Karen Harper. Very good accurate historical fiction. Researched well.

City of Rocks, Third Time’s a Charm

So here we are —- back at City of Rocks and believe it or not we didn’t see it all the first time. Blessed with lots of wildlife as we wait on that genny.

 

 

I am happy to report that yes, the generator is here, and we are now on the road to more adventure, and hopefully some higher elevations and cooler temps.
Short post, lots of photos. Thanks for stopping by! Hugs, Shawna

 


DSC_0039Early Morning Can you see anything in these Rocks


The I Heart City of Rocks DSC_0034 I Heart the City of Rocks

CURRENT READ: Sully by Chesley B. “Sully” Sullenberger, the pilot who landed US Airways flight 1549 in the Hudson River with not a single fatality.

Our Desert Oasis and Zoo Nebraska

Wow, the weather is really warming up. It is time to button up our little oasis in the desert and head out to somewhere cooler. Little oasis in the desert? What’s this? Welllll. Let me explain.

This past winter was a bit of an eye-opener for me. The wet, the cold (comparatively speaking to the rest of the country), the wind. The boys and I spent a lot of time inside the van. I love to read, but there is only so much one can do before it becomes reading-by-rote and nothing sticks! When I started having to re-read the previous chapter to remember what went before I realized that another winter like this past one would not be good for my mental health, not to mention two rambunctious wild wiener dogs that were mad for exercise.
After much thought and knowing there weren’t too many places that would be warmer than right here in Q, I made the decision to buy a lot and have a permanent place to roost during the winter months.

DSC_0082Charlie.Fries.Listen Fries!

This little oasis in the middle of “civilization” will also allow me to have my crafting stuff and my genealogy paperwork at hand. Perfect time to work on the family history! I am healthier and happier with some kind of project in the works and having a permanent spot to light while waiting for winter to run its course is the answer to several concerns.

Next will be a trip back to Cali to haul my stuff out of storage and get it and my Honda back to AZ where it will all be stashed away until our return in late fall. We are NOT giving up our travels, just facing the reality that there is no place better than  in right here in Quartzsite to spend the winter months. This decision will, no doubt, insure that another winter like the last one is not going to happen. Ha!

Thanks for stopping by! Hugs, Shawna and The Chiweenie Brothers

CURRENT READ: Zoo Nebraska: The Dismantling of an American Dream by Carson Vaughn
Note: While on my way back south from South Dakota after establishing my residency almost two years ago I dropped down into the northeastern part of Nebraska and along the road was a hand painted wooden sign on which was written Zoo Nebraska. I thought it odd. There was no other signage to indicate there was an actual zoo nearby and we traveled on. That sign, as you’ve surely figured out, was for the zoo in the above mentioned book.

Charlie’s Fav is Out and About

It is early morning, and a gorgeous spring day in the Sonoran Desert. The weather is warming up, and the time is right for another trip out along the Bouse Cutoff road to hunt for blooming cacti. I repeat, surely they must be in bloom by now. Nope, the cholla show new growth, but no blooms. Hmmm. Going to have to read up on this prickly situation.
I walk around and enjoy the cool morning air keeping an out for snakes. The rattlers are out, and I certainly do not want to get bit nor do I want The Chiweenie Brothers to tangle with one of these venomous serpents.
The lizards are also out. Charlie is loving this!

DSC_0084Alligator Lizard 2

DSC_0085Alligator Lizard
As the morning grows warmer we head back to Q. It is time to begin thinking about where we will spend the hot summer months coming up.  I have a few destinations in mind, but haven’t decided which it will be.

Thanks for reading our blog!  Hugs, Shawna

 

A Rainy Weekend in Store

Hello, and thanks for stopping by 2 Dogs. The boys and I are settled in, warm and cozy, for not only a rainy weekend, but possibly a rainy MARCH.  Wow. We need the rain, but I have Spring Fever SOOO bad, and the pups are not going to like having to be inside for most of a month.  It will be time to pull out some brain games for dogs and keep them occupied.

I have, thanks to one of Word Press’s nice helpers, printed out directions for moving the old blog here, so over the next few days I will attempt that.  Smiling and blinking here … Hoping it works.  I have to say, I am so impressed with this gal.  She even went to Blogger and opened a new blog to find out how to do the move since the export blog feature was hidden from casual observation. How nice was that?!?!

Nothing new in the way of van stuff, although the new dash cover came in.  It won’t be installed until nicer weather, but I did want to post that I have three historical fiction books that I would like to send to one of you.  Just post a comment that you would like them, I’ll get your address from regular email to keep it private, and  will get them out in Monday’s mail. Someone else had the opportunity to get them but I never heard back when I queried her, so they are up for grabs again.

 

Book No Eye Can SeeDSC_0250

Time to try that import; wish me luck.  Remember, life begins at the edge of your comfort zone.

Until next time, Hugs, Shawna