Aug 162010

ISO 100; f/3.2; 1/5;7.3mm (Canon SX10)

Processed with Aperture preset JW Vignette, which basically changed the white balance temp to 4800 kelvin and skewed the tint for more green blue.

This is our task today… defrosting the fridge.  Taking advantage of the warm temps.

Jun 262010

ISO 80; f/2.8 1.0s 7.7mm; 5:10am  (Canon SD950 IS Elph)

Carl was up making coffee at 5am this morning.  Sun wasn’t even up yet,  but there were some beautiful rays peaking over the mountains.

I realized that I was looking at “darkness” and started shooting photos before I got out of bed. Post processing makes it look more daytime than it is… but I like the color.  As you all know by now, we live in an RV… this gives a nice look at our condensed lifestyle.

By the way… to get this to stay dark with the point and shoot camera… I used the “snowman” scene which prevented the camera from adding more light to the scene as it was wont to do.  I know I say I never use these canned settings, but this morning it made all the sense in the world.  I think I’ll try this trick tonight on the full moon.   And if that works, and assuming I find some fireworks… I’ll try it on them as well.

Jun 092010

ISO80; f/5.6; 0.5s; 5mm (mini tripod; self-timer)

This is from this morning, post coffee.  Thought I’d experiment with the set up again. In yesterday’s picture the overhead light is on and gives it more of a yellow look, as if the morning was dark and we needed light.  In this picture I just used natural daylight.  I think using the mirror also brightened it up.  The difference in the time of day is only about 15 minutes (we were up earlier today than yesterday).

Mar 132010

Since I work on the weekends (starting Friday), I usually can’t do the “Friday Assignments” until later in the week, if at all.  “Documenting the mundane,” well that’s a natural for me!

I had just finished making lunch and was washing up, when I looked down and remembered the assignment!  I took several pictures, but this is the one I like the best.  I used the automatic setting, which defaulted to the flash going off.  Then I took several more, changing the exposure, without the flash.

Here is one without the flash:

Continue reading »

Feb 102010

We had a sudden rainstorm late this afternoon… with the sun still shining. When I looked behind me to make sure my window was closed, I saw a rainbow and my first thought was not of the proverbial pot of gold, but that there are FIVE colors in a rainbow!  So, I grabbed my camera. This PhotoWalk business is certainly getting the better of me.

None of the pics came out very well.. it was raining too hard for me to want to take the camera outside.. and the blue sky was to the west, the rainbow was toward the east.  But here’s a shot, anyway:

You can see the five colors, can’t you?

Of course, this reminded me of my last attempt at capturing a rainbow when we were in Tucson last August:

I was very pleased that I could capture nearly the whole rainbow.

And this is from the same day:

Obviously a blue sky makes for better rainbow pics.  Any other hints about how to make this a success?

Dec 252008

December 25, 2008 — Merry Christmas!  

I am taking a break from Christmas this year.  

I’ve said for years that I’d appreciate the holiday more if it could happen every other year — or maybe even less frequently than that.  I know that would be FOREVER for a child. But for adults, especially as we get older and older and a year goes by faster and faster, I think it makes sense. Every other year would be soon enough.

I used to wonder about people who left their Seasonal decorations up all year, but that was back when a year lasted reasonably through four long  seasons. It had been coming on gradually over the years, but I think I was 45,  the first time I noticed time really shift. I was putting up my Xmas decorations and kept having this feeling that I had JUST done this. It was not deja vu — it was time warp. And then last year, I forgot to put up the decorations.  I didn’t miss Christmas — it was one of my best Christmas’ ever, since I spent lots of pre-Xmas day time with my family, plus it was the first Christmas after my sister’s accident and we were just all feeling very good about her being alive and home. Now that I think about the season felt unusually long. But, I forgot to put up my decorations. Floppy Santa never made it out of the box, the stockings never got tacked up.  The holiday placements and towels never saw the light of day. Please understand that this wasn’t something I was going to do but ran out of time. I totally forgot. And did not figure it out a couple days AFTER Christmas. Like, oops! I forgot to put up the decorations.

Up until Sunday, I thought I was going to send home presents to all the nieces and nephews.  But nothing seemed like the right gift.  I wanted to do something that reflected the southwest.  Gifts for the girls was not the problem — I could have bought each presents at least three times over.  It’s the boys that stumped me. And I have more boys than girls to buy for. So I procrastinated. My best idea would probably have gone over like a lead brick– or rock.  I was thinking of getting them each an interesting rock — Quartzsite is a gem and rock mecca and there are some real beauties here.  Again, the girls would probably love this gift. But would the boys, especially the teenage ones? But then I thought about the cost of sending rocks through the mail.  And, the reaction of the kids as they opened their presents.  While I was stuck on this idea, time jumped forward and the next thing I realized it was Sunday and if gifts were to arrive by Christmas, I’d had to buy them that day. But still, I wasn’t going out looking for rocks. What was wrong with me?

And then I got it.  For me, giving a gift is watching the person open it and getting the feedback that it is a good gift.  I like to know that that I guessed right. And, if I’m honest with myself, it is a chance to explain the gift if the initial feedback is more wonderment than appreciation.  So maybe, just maybe the gift will be remembered a month or two later. Or even the next Christmas.  Especially, if, say, I skip that Christmas.

So, somewhere Sunday afternoon, I decided that I absolutely would not do Christmas this year.  

No Holiday parties, either. 

No decorations (though I miss the lights).

I feel down right liberated.

I will call home and hopefully talk to everyone.

I will cook a nice dinner for Carl and I.

And I will stop feeling guilty that I didn’t get the kids a single thing this year.


It would be a lot easier if everyone skipped Christmas, wouldn’t it?


BTW – The photos on this page were taken while walking around the Holiday Palms RV Park where we are currently living. Fun, huh?

Dec 072008



Leaving Tucson -- take from the Prius.

Leaving Tucson — taken from the Prius while following.


Our Fleetwood has 2 slideouts which increase the inside space.

Our Fleetwood has 2 slideouts, which increase the inside space. This photo taken at Voyager RV Resort in Tucson, AZ.

December 7, 2008-  So, we made it to Quartzsite!  276 miles from Tucson to here — our maiden voyage in our motorhome.  All went well, except a little slower than normal.  The Fleetwood does not like to go over 65 miles per hour; in fact 55 miles is more comfortable for it.  I followed Carl in the Prius — and at this speed I got the best mileage ever.  I averaged 64 mph when Carl was driving at 55 mph — when he started to go 65 mph, I dropped to 60 mph.  



This side as a built in canopy.

This side has a built in canopy. This photo taken at Voyager RV Resort in Tucson AZ.

It was a great ride without any problems.  Our plan was to stop at every rest area.  I wanted to see how well all our stuff was fairing — you know, did drawers open, did stuff tumble around in the cupboards, etc.  Plus, it gave Carl a chance to stretch his legs.  He was fairly nervous. Even though we had already signed the “as is” paperwork, actually driving away from Tucson felt as if we were cutting our umbilical cord.  I learned that unlike a sailboat, stuff travels very well in the RV.  Only adjustment I made enroute was to wrap the silverware in moleskin so that it wouldn’t jingle so much, which I later found out wasn’t the problem.  We have some noisy springs in our easy chair (that rocks).  The RV interior looks great, but it drives like a bucket of nuts — so Carl thinks we need new shocks.  

The livingroom; Carl is in the lounger chair watching TV.

The livingroom; Carl is in the lounger chair watching TV.

Our route was to take 10 out of Tucson, then turnoff on 8 to avoid Phoenix, then at Gila Bend take 85N which puts us back on 10. This route is about 30 miles longer than going directly through Phoenix but a lot saner. The first rest area was on 10 just before the road for 8.  It had no facilities — so I got to experience how nice it is to have your own traveling toilet!  



The livingroom slideout area.

The livingroom slideout area.

We left Voyager Resort at 9:10 — but had to get gas — so we probably got on the road closer to 9:30.  Whereas I was worried about backing into our Quartzsite RV site, Carl was more worried about getting gas.  Like how do you know you are at the pump and if the pump will reach — nevermind, will we fit and can we drive out without a lot of sharp turns or having to back up.  We solved a lot of these mysteries by locating the gas station the previous day. We solved the problem of knowing where to stop for the gas pump by having me park the Prius and act as guide.  All went smooth, of course.  Our first bill for gas came to $67 for 39 gallons.  We are a bit lucky that the gas prices are back down for a while.

The kitchen

The kitchen- it is hard to take photos because of tight space and the number of mirrors that reflect light. This view looks into the bathroom and the bedroom beyond that.

At one of our rest stops, we made lunch. I like this idea of a fridge and cupboards.  So much easier than trying to make a sandwich on a picnic table — especially when the wind blows!


When we arrived in Quartzsite, we filled the tank to see how many MPG that we actually get — and it works out to be slightly over 10 MPG.  I don’t know how much that will change when we tow a car. So the RV used 26 gallons and the Prius used 4.5 gallons. Too bad the Prius can’t tow the motorhome.

I wish I had taken a movie of Carl backing into the RV site.  We had an escort, Bill,  help us — Bill brought Carl out to look at the site on his golf cart, then they came back and Carl followed Bill back over in the RV (I jumped in for the ride).  Bill reviewed with Carl what he needed to do.  And I learned why Carl was not nervous about this part of the day — he backed in absolutely perfectly.  Not an inch off.  Bill was impressed – I’m sure he didn’t believe that was Carl’s first time backing into a site.  I should have remembered this about Carl.  When we were living on the sailboat, he could pull off the most perfect docking.  If I had a movie I could really brag!



Bedroom -- Can you please there are 24 lights in our RV? Nearly half are in the bedroom. Nice reading lights above the bed. To the left is a window with the special RV shade.

So, our neighborhood seems pretty nice. Well, except for one cigarette smoker.  Always has to be one.  The sites seem a little bigger here — and there are palm trees, fruit trees, cactii, and pretty rocks everywhere.  Some very creative uses of property  — people know how to make the most of their area.  I’ll take photos one day and show you.  Lots of Xmas decorations, too.  Night is very nice — all lit up but everyone is inside.  It does get cool at night.  We are using our heaters (we have built in propane heaters, with two thermostats, one in front and one for the back; plus we bought a radiator electric heater).  



Bedroom -- lots of mirrors -- I'm glad I can't see when I take off my glasses.

Bedroom -- lots of mirrors -- I'm glad I can't see when I take off my glasses. At the bottom right of the picture is a desk area with a window.

Carl and I drove around Saturday morning to find the hardware/RV stores and the General Store for groceries.  Then in the afternoon I walked to the vegetable stand and walked around some of the booths.  Quartzsite is a makeshift town.  It has 3 or 4 different “show” areas in which people set up tents and sell stuff.  I walked around for hours and did not even come close to covering what’s to be seen.  Though I admit that I spent about an hour talking to a pottery maker who also happens to run one of the show sites.  I’m an idiot because I didn’t think to ask if he knew of work.  Need to get into the habit.



I can not believe I have such a color coordinated home!

I can not believe I have such a color coordinated home! More mirrors above the bed. You can see our built in TV in the middle mirror.

Today was cloudy, so after doing some chores, I worked on  Tonight it rained for about 5 minutes.  We got to hear the pitter patter on the roof.  Then it stopped. You can see why the desert plants are designed to take advantage of any water they can get — it comes and goes rather fast.


So, we are here for the winter.  Traveling was fun and I can’t wait to do it again. But the last few weeks of soul searching and decision making have been stressful. It is wonderful to just sit back and relax for a bit. No decisions about “where are we going?” and “what are we doing?”


Sunset view from our doorway.

Sunset view from our doorway.

By the way, we left Nashua September 12th, which means on Thursday we will have been gone 3 months! And I will have been out of work 4 months. Feels like much longer.

Dec 042008

December 4, 2008 —

Petersen Clark Expedition buys a mobile home!

Petersen Clark Expedition buys a mobile home!

Last Friday, we bought a 2000 36′ Fleetwood Southwind Motorhome and have been living in it and shaking out the bugs since then.  We have been staying in Tucson, near the RV dealer, for this exercise.


Tomorrow (Friday) we drive to Quartzsite, Arizona for the winter.  Carl will drive the RV and I’ll follow in the Prius.  

So what do we think?  WE LOVE IT!

I’ll have photos posted soon.

Sorry that I’ve been negligent on this travel blog… While we were making so many decisions it was too difficult to write — we were so all over the shop in the past few weeks, we would have come off truly crazy if I had shared what everything that we were thinking.

Also, I had a weak Internet connection in the hotel that we stayed at, which made it impossible to get a lot done.  This week I bought the Verizon Wireless so now I have no more excuses — unless I exceed my allocated bandwidth…

More soon….