Summer Travel Map

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Ahhhh, Spring!

March 10, 2013
Cederholm Compound, Peoria, AZ

Well, the calendar might disagree, but spring is definitely in the air. Ahhhh-Choo!!! Yep, it’s pollen season in the desert. All of us have begun sneezing and itching, and the neighborhood yards are filling up with weeds. We did have some chilly weather in February, but temperatures are definitely on the rise. Woo-Hoo!

So, what’s been going on here at Cederholm West? Well, things are going well, all things considered. I got a batch of things sold on eBay and cleared enough for a tank of diesel for the coach. I have two more batches to go; maybe we’ll have enough to make our way east this summer!

I mentioned the weather, and it’s actually been reasonably decent this winter. We did have one really cold (for here) snap, which caused quite a bit of freeze damage to foliage around the ‘hood. We’ve had a couple of storms roll through, providing just enough moisture to drive those weeds. We even had some frozen precipitation! No, not snow, although there was some of that dangerously close to us at higher elevations. There’s this kind of sloppy hail that’s called “graupel” that is more prevalent here. It’s like a Slurpee fell from the sky, and it’s enough to get excited about. At least the local news people seemed to be living on the edge of sanity.

It’s been interesting to watch the temperatures rise, as they seem to gather up momentum before breaking through various levels. We had a few days of 50s before a run of days in the 70s, then a few days in the 60s before a good stretch with highs right around 80°F. We’re in a bit of a dip in temperatures for the past two days, so I’m guessing we’ll have our first 90° day by the end of next week!

We’ve started getting the coach ready for travel. I’ve done a few maintenance tasks, verifying that the new batteries I installed in January are set up to maintain the proper electrolyte levels and doing a few fix-up tasks. I had it in the shop to fix a sticking brake caliper and fix a small air leak in the suspension system (Geri nicknamed the coach “Eileen” because it settled to one side after a few days), except that the shop didn’t quite fix the leak. I ordered the right parts myself and they should be here in a few days, so it’ll go back later this month. It’s probably something I could fix myself, except I don’t want to crawl under with deflated air bags.

On the medical front, Geri survived the “pocket reduction surgery” by the periodontist with no lingering effects other than confirmation that she can’t tolerate Tramadol for pain. And, Maya Lynn is doing extremely well with her chemotherapy, tolerating the oral medication we give her three times a week well (no, dogs don’t lose their hair on chemo). We had our first follow-up appointment and her blood tests (primarily white blood cell count) were fine. We go back to the oncologist in about ten days for the next check in.

On the fun side, we had a little surprise party for Geri’s birthday last month. Our friends Ana and Larry (and their pups, Molly and Tsunami) came over for dinner, and we were able to pull it off without Geri knowing, other than she was wondering about a few weird things I’d said/done. As good time was had by all, and some fine wine was consumed.

We’ve continued to eat well. I know; what a surprise! We’ve gotten back into our habit of scanning or downloading interesting recipes from magazines and TV shows, and trying them out a few nights a week. Once we identify a “keeper”, then we’ll try to personalize and perfect it. Of course, we also throw in a few favorite recipes as well, like Pasta Marinara and Rack of Lamb. Just because…

We’ve also been experimenting with various bread recipes. I’ve pretty much got the Ciabetta bread/rolls down now and we’ve added a nice loaf for toasting, rolls for sandwiches, and English Muffins. Mmmm…

And, finally, it’s the time of year when thoughts start to drift toward travel, once again looking to avoid the oven that the Valley of the Sun can become in the summer. We’ve started generating some ideas, so watch this space for updates!