Week twenty two @ BTA

Sunday April 17th, 2022

Sunday morning and I’m up and awake at four o’clock in the morning, not just sure why, but Mr. Sam got up for his treats and is now asleep on my lap. I’m anticipating a good competitive final round at the Masters, but it’s still only 7am in Augusta, so I have a number of hours till TeeOff, I’m looking forward to a walk in the arboretum but it’s pitch black here just yet. My Wordle streak is now at 19 after todays third word guess, and as I look forward, just three weeks from today we will be on the road again. And this Friday is Good Friday, and next Sunday is Easter Sunday. We are also meeting with Ray & Karen on Monday for lunch, and we have an EFR (emergency first responder) course on Thursday which cover CPR and AED, this is a certified course, that in reality everyone should take it, especially living in remote areas as many of us do. Miss Laurie has just got up and I feel there will be a coffee in my very near future, followed by a walk in the arboretum.

Our adventure today was a couple of hours, and the beauty of the spring bloom is almost beyond what we had hopped and imagined, having never stayed in the desert this late in the spring before, we were always just missing the full extent of the beauty.

Sausage and eggs this morning for breakfast, with another cup of fresh perked coffee. It is nice having Sundays off, Miss Laurie gets to watch Willie Geist, and I get to watch Sunday Morning, and today is also Masters Sunday. This is the day that even non-golf fans watch at least a little golf, the this well manicured golf course, the magnolias that seem to always be in bloom, even the recorded bird sounds (you surely must have noticed all those bird sounds) that always play at the quietest times on the course, the permanent camera towers, the crazy fast undulating golf greens, that are the perfect green colour, not to mention the truckloads of pine straw that are raked perfectly to the edge of the golf course roughs. But this tournament was being televised, before people knew watching golf was a real thing, this is also the only major golf tournament that is played on the same course every year, the rest of the majors move from course to course, no this tournament is truly something special.

Five hours later!

So let’s talk about the game itself, well first let me send congratulations to Tiger Woods for finishing the tournament, certainly not the comeback that the announcers had tried to hype it to be, but he finished only 23 strokes behind the winner and did play all four rounds. And let me say again this year just how bad the golf coverage and commentary was again this year, it must be difficult to be that bad year after year, but CBC has managed to continually be the worst, and Jim Nance has no business announcing golf, just because you can speak in a hushed voice doesn’t make you a golf announcer. But I watch every year and I will continue to watch next year as well because it is the “Masters”, but after five hours of coverage, and listening to that much verbal diarrhea, I was also glad it was over. At least here in the west it finished early enough for happy hour, not after dinner back in Georgia, speaking of happy hour, we enjoyed a cold beverage with Tom & Kathleen and Lincoln, before dispersing for me to barbecue chicken breasts for dinner, it seems hard to believe that there are only two more of these Sunday afternoon happy hours left before we pull out.

Now I also have to mention that Mr. Sam did finally catch one of his little gecko friends while we were enjoying happy hour, and now there is a gecko running around out there, less a tail, much to Miss Laurie’s chagrin. Sunday night dinner was barbecued chicken and salad, while watching 60 minutes, then a couple hours of American Idol, to roll us around to bedtime, which tonight is just after nine o’clock.

Monday morning and another early start for me, not quite as early as yesterday, but still way too damn early, although these early mornings seem to grant me more lap-time with the kitty, and it allows me more blog time, which as I reread it, seems to have been mainly a rant about the Masters golf tournament, but this is a brand new day, and it’s looking pretty great as I watch the sunrise. Miss Laurie made us a coffee before we headed to the arboretum, in todays photos I tried to focuses on the tiny flowers, these are the ones that most people miss while looking at the large cactus blooms.

Breakfast this morning was a grilled cheese omelet with toast and sausage, a second cup of blessed coffee with a vitamin chaser. We are meeting up with Ray & Karen for lunch at a Dairy Queen somewhere in Mesa, we have not seen them since last month, there are a couple of reasons for that. The first reason being that they had purchased a pad in a RV park in Mesa, and they have had a number of things that they needed to do, to prepare it for their return in the fall. The second reason was that somewhere along the line they contracted Covid, they suspect that it was during the lot purchase, as they had spent a lot of time with the previous owners in the process, so they have been, taking the new Pfizer drug to help reduce the effects of the virus, and of course have been quarantining in their trailer. Like us they had had their vaccinations and a booster, but they were still hit quite hard by the virus, which makes us thankful that we have been able to avoid it up till now. It was great to catch-up, and also good to hear that they are recovering from the virus, and as of now they are hoping to get back on the road in the next week or so.

After lunch we picked up this week’s grocery supply at the Bashes’ that was located in the same mall, in Mesa, and it was near 4:30 by the time we got back to the coach, dinner tonight was barbecued Chicken and a Cesar salad, while we catch-up on the world news and then watched a couple hours of American Idol before heading off to bed. As I sit reviewing todays adventures for the blog here is the question that comes to my mind. Why would someone that is afraid to take the Covid vaccine because they don’t know what is in it, all of a sudden be ok with taking a pill (that they still don’t know what is in it) produced by the same manufacture (that they previously didn’t trust) that now may possibly save their life, now that they have contracted the virus? Just asking for a friend.

Tuesday and it’s five o’clock, and while still very early it’s better than that whole four o’clock thing, at least there is a little light as dawn was just starting to break. Mr. Sam again has no issue with his early treats, and again I’m rewarded with a kitty curled up on my lap, three guesses again for today’s Wordle, now a 21 day streak. There has been a major cool down overnight, and there are a few clouds hanging around today high temperature is forecast for 70°F (21°C), and as silly as it may sound it felt cool enough that I put on a long sleeve thermal shirt, oh my how quickly we become acclimatized.

We left the coach heading for the arboretum for our morning walk before seven o’clock, there was a chill in the air, with the cloud cover and the breeze combined. We decided to be rebellious and walk the main arboretum trail counter clockwise, and again it is amazing how many different things you see just walking the opposite way. We got some great photos even before we spent some time near the grotto in the Wallace garden, below are a few of todays snapshots.

Oh you noticed the Lazuli Bunting in the photos, yes that is a bird that I got just a glimpse of yesterday when we were in the demonstration garden, and Miss Laurie actually got a photo of it at the grotto this morning as we were watching birds stopping by for a drink and/or a quick bath. Todays walk was well over two hours, and we returned to a toasted bacon and tomato sandwich for breakfast. Today is the day to clean up a lot of odd jobs, the washroom sink was first on the list, it has been slow draining for a few weeks. But it is a real pain to take apart. The sink drain tail is too long to allow the removal of the P-trap with out completely removing the the sink drain, which involves resealing the sink drain, luckily I have butyl tape to reseal it, so today I found and removed the clog, then I cut a couple of inches off the tail so that I can remove the P-trap with much less effort next time.

Project number 1 complete, now onto the roof to get the information to order a replacement fan motor, for the front roof air conditioner, it has started to act up and we may need the second air conditioner unit operational as the temperatures continues to rise. Now with number 2 project on a hold, waiting for the new motor to arrive next week onto number 3. A simple task unbox our new Clam and tuck it away in the basement, I had saved the spot that the old Clam fit perfectly, but apparently our new upgraded Clam is four inches taller then the old Clam and now it doesn’t fit. It’s real close but hangs out three inches, so now we need to reassess the whole basement packing issue, I think it will fit in beside the propane barbecue but until I’m ready to fold up the barbecue to pack it away, it will remain a mystery.

As the patio starts being shaded by the coach this afternoon, and the wind seems to have picked up again, it actually feels cold, I’m still in my thermal long sleeved shirt, and it must be cold as Miss Laurie has made a big pot of spaghetti sauce, so we decide to invite the Andersons to join us for a spaghetti dinner. The decision was also made to eat dinner in the staff lunch room to avoid the cold and wind, we crack open a bottle of Josh wine, barbequed some garlic sourdough bread, and enjoyed a huge bowl of pasta and sauce, and the perfect cool evening dinner with friends. After dinner we are going for a walk in the arboretum, this afternoon one of the trees near the picnic area has fallen down, thankfully no one was hurt and no real property damage was done, but as more trees in the arboretum hit that century old level this could become more common issue.

We got back to the coach at seven o’clock, and we watched an episode of “Sharktank” and then the most recent episode of “This is Us” before preparing for bed, the wind is still blowing, and there looks to be clear skies with the moon shinning bright.

Wednesday morning and it’s Brrrr! It is 5:30 and my weather app is indicating 37°F (3°C) and I just don’t want to know the temperature in the coach, other than it’s damn chilly! Mr. Sam had his morning treats and headed straight to my warm side of the big bed, I guess this means no lap time for me on this cool morning. So here I am left fending for myself as I tackle today’s Wordle, and the streak is still intact now 22 days, Miss Laurie has just got up and thinks we need to turn on the electric space heater, that’s how chilly it is. But there is not a cloud in the sky and the sun is just peaking over the mountain range, and as we start to head to our 70 (19) degree forecast high for the day. I now have a coffee with a little blessing, and I can already feel the Arizona sun warming the coach, the heater is humming and now the debate is whether to walk this morning or not?

Debate over we will walk later! That was the decision on todays walk, maybe after the arboretum is closed. We suspect there could be a lot of chainsaw noise as the staff tackle the clean up of the fallen tree. And there will be lots of new things to see in the park latter in the afternoon, I may venture into the arboretum earlier to watch some of the cleanup. Breakfast this morning was a toasted western sandwich, and I have just finished editing the first few days of the blog, I’m trying a different format for the photos, and it appears good by using a variety of sizes and combinations, I can’t control the sizes with this format either but the variety is a nice change.

It is nine o’clock and the chainsaws are now running as a parade of heavy equipment has rolled into the arboretum, oh I imagine the birdwatchers will be having a coronary about the noise. I wandered up to the mailbox to pick up Miss Laurie’s new SD card for her camera, the old one has started to have issues with the first few photos each time that she format’s the card, so we purchased a higher end card designed for photos and videos. I stopped by the tree clean-up and it’s pretty much done by ten o’clock, just a few of the last pieces of trunk being loaded into the truck, it was not nearly a rotten as I expected to see, it is a salt cedar, and not a tree of any particular value, other than prevent soil erosion along Queen Creek.

Well it has turned into a two tail week as Mr. Sam scared the tail off of another gecko, the dropping of the tail is a defensive move by the gecko, it drops its tail and it wiggles around drawing attention from the fleeing gecko, as the pursuers attention is drawn to the tail, the gecko doesn’t realize that Mr. Sam is in his screen tent and limited to its confine. All I know for sure is that Miss Laurie is failing to see the humor of the situation. So this morning I started the generator, a task that was long overdue, it should be done every every month, but life gets in the way and it just didn’t get done. So today it happened and it happened without any issues, tomorrow maybe I will fire up Thunder, and I will also check all the tire pressures on the coach and on the toad, while the air pressure is up, and it will allow me to ensure the fluids are all ok, along with running the dash air conditioner, all in preparation for the trek to British Columbia next month.

The suggestion of a visit to the Silver King Smokehouse for a late lunch was made and we found no reason to object, so a plan was put together to meet Tom & Kathleen for lunch at one o’clock, going early ensures a better selection of the smoked meat, today we has brisket and double order of spareribs, with a couple of side salads. It wasn’t the best sample of brisket today, being a touch dry and tough side, but every brisket is different, the ribs were great and they also make an excellent wedge salad which is literally a wedge of lettuce with topping over it.

After lunch we walked to the “Save Money Market” we had heard stories about this store, both good and bad, it is the only “grocery” store in Superior, and from what we seen carried a large selection of items, multiple cuts of meats, to supply multiple cultures, lots of Mexican products, along with a reasonable selection of produce. And while it would never be our main supply, it certainly could supply almost anything that was needed in a pinch. We picked up some Mexican made sweet treats and some Mexican corn tortita chips.

When we got back to the arboretum I decided to help Tom change the Air Filter for the chassis engine on his coach, unlike most coach air filters, that allow you to replace an element inside a canister, this filter required changing the whole canister as it was a sealed system, not a big deal, but a little more involved than maybe first expected. Next the decision was to have an early happy hour, before a walk-in the arboretum, happy hour took us right till 5:30 and were were joined by Lincoln and his college buddy, who has came to visit for a week or so. The walk produced a few photos, as we spent more time talking than gawking and I still prefer our early morning walks.

Upon returning to our coach, I had a shower and we tucked into watching YouTube videos, still content from lunch, we snacked and tried some of our Mexican pastry before turning in shortly after nine as tomorrow will be an early day.

Thursday morning and it’s another cool morning, but as I rise, daybreak is well upon us, Mr. Sam is anxious for his treats, and quickly settled on my lap, Wordle was a little challenging, but another day is now in the books. We were originally scheduled to work today, but there was a CPR course being offered so Miss Laurie and I signed up to take the course, so we will be working Sunday in the admissions booth to cover Easter Sunday. The course starts at 8am in the lecture hall of the Smith building, so it will be like a regular working morning, although Miss Laurie made toasted westerns again for breakfast, and then we were off to our course.

The Lecture Room in the renovated Smith Building

The lecture room is located in the newly renovated Smith Building that was all part of the original building on the arboretum property, with the original greenhouses, laboratory, offices, and visitor center. It is a old stone structure and they did an excellent job of bring it back to life, much of it was closed on our initial visit to the arboretum in March of 2020. The CPR course seem very compressed, but for many it was a recertification course, with only a few taking the course for the first time. For the first timers, it was very intense and covered a lot of topics, even as a recertification course we covered topics that I had not covered, like snake and scorpion bites and stings. We also covered the use of the AED devices that have recently been added to the arboretum.

We were back at the coach by around 11:30, some lunch and to my surprise the replacement fan motor had arrived, so I decided that the temperature dictated that today was a good day to work on the air conditioner, and let’s just say it did not go as planned, and while I have it all pulled apart, it appears that I have ordered the wrong motor, so this project is back on the drawing board for now. I did manually stow the satellite dish away while I was on the roof, just one more task off the list. Miss Laurie made pizza in the Ninja for dinner, this is the closest thing to take out pizza that I have ever had, and has eliminated the pizza cravings that we used to get. Our entertainment tonight was YouTube videos, as we have got all caught up again, before turning in shortly after nine o’clock.

Friday morning, actually it is Good Friday for those that practice the Christian religion, I’m up just a few moments before six o’clock, Mr. Sam greeted me and of course I rewarded him with the customary treats followed by some lap time as I knock off today’s Wordle and prepare for an expected busy day in the booth. Breakfast today is a bowl o cereal, a vitamin, and a cup of coffee with a splash of Irish Cream.

Today was busy but not a busy as we we had maybe anticipated, the flow of visitors just seemed steady as the day rolled by, total visitors was just a few visitors short of seven hundred, the day itself was great with sunny skies and moderate temperatures, and just enough of a breeze to be refreshing, and while a few degrees warmer than what we see as perfect, it was a great day overall, not hot enough to need air conditioning but warm enough for open windows. Miss Laurie cashed out the second drawer at three o’clock while I closed out the day at four o’clock.

Just a relaxing evening with our feet up, with a catch up on the world and local news, before an hour of Sharktank, then an episode of Outlaws before heading to bed. Left over pasta for dinner tonight, along with a couple of adult beverages.

Saturday morning and I’m awake way too early again, but after Mr. Sam’s treats I get to work on this blog, with publication later tonight, I have a number of loose ends to tie together, and as always I’m always looking for something special to end each blog. Again breakfast is cereal, with a coffee and a vitamin, before heading out of the coach at 7:45 to head to the admissions booth.

Lets just say that there is a lot of stuff happening in the arboretum today, two discovery tours, a Wallace garden tour, a private tour that the leaded never showed up for, a children’s discovery day, open to all kids regardless of age (rock painting today), a memorial, a wedding, plus dozens of family picnics. We have gotten to the stage that we just roll with the punches, at least now they are telling us what is going on in the arboretum on a weekly basis, better that having no idea about some of the events, then just looking foolish when asked questions. It was busy today but not crazy busy, just a gentle flow of people, as we blew by yesterdays admission total, I watered the sale plants in the morning when it was slower, and took the short shift today stopping at three o’clock with Laurie finishing off the day with the four o’clock shift.

I jumped at the early departure today, as the idea of a happy hour this afternoon was thrown around so this hour between three and four will get me caught up on this blog, before a couple of adult beverages throw me way behind, oh I’m having an adult beverage right now, but it is the first and has not effected the thickness of my fingers yet, i find after a few beverages my fingers get fat and slowdown and start missing keys that normally are located where they are suppose to be on the keyboard, but after a couple of drinks the seem to start moving and become hard to keep up with. I have also learnt that there are less rants when I write the blogs before happy hours then after. These are little things that I have picked up in my years, Miss Laurie just entered the coach and reported 812 visitors in the arboretum today and that doesn’t take into account the memorial or wedding guests.

Today was warm enough that we had to turn the air conditioner on in the coach to keep Mr. Sam in the comfort and lifestyle that he has come to expect, Tom & Kathleen stopped over for happy hour, so after a couple of adult beverages later we had pretty much resolved most of the items that cause people to have sleepless nights … NOT. We are just a day away from the full moon, which corresponds with Easter, I can see it is clear and it bright this evening. Dinner tonight was barbequed burgers, with some potato chips, we just able to catch the local news before we watched some HGTV and a couple of YouTube videos. Its shortly after nine o’clock and Miss Laurie is headed to bed, and I’m just putting the finishing touches on the blog.

Stay well and be strong!

Blog 413

Day 1657

3 thoughts on “Week twenty two @ BTA

  1. Hi Lauri and Brian
    We will miss you when we open up at Lake Huron Resort on May 1st. We have enjoyed your blog over the winter. The beauty of the desert is incredible. It sounds like you have had the adventure you have been missing the last two years. Tim retired in February so we are hoping we will be at the park more often this year. All the best.
    Linda and Tim Sullivan

    Liked by 1 person

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