Friday, December 31, 2021

Year 2021 In Review

Parson Parsons & Clair Buoyant are all smiles
after performing a wedding at Camp Verde's
Old Rock Church. Photo by Jodi.

Lucky, plucky, ducky Twenty One.

The CCCs sum up Year 2021: Camping, Cribbage & Camaraderie.

Roosevelt Lake was a Camping Mecca for us as the year began.  We returned over and Over and OVER to enjoy the blissful isolation of Windy Hill Campground.  We likewise spent gobs of time in Globe and neighboring Miami.  There we renewed a Fabulous Friendship and found new Friends, too.  We learned more about Gila County and Globe-Miami in 2021 than ever before. 

We camped twice in Prescott to get our covid jabs.  Then we decided to max out our Trip North and camped for days along a new long and winding way.  Practically as soon as we landed in Idaho Falls, we headed out to camp beside the Salmon River near Challis for yet another 10 days.

And, if that wasn't enough we then set up camp in Sawtooth Country, too.  After a a campapalooza in Year 2020, Year 2021 dovetailed right in.  Finally, when we returned home after camping near Stanley we both said, "Enuf is enuf" and decided our little bungalow is The Best Campsite in Idaho.

We didn't camp again until mid-September up at Riverside in A16.  That was a tune up for our Trip South and we spent yet another 10 days camping during a leisurely migration to Arizona.

Since we arrived in Rimrock November 1 we haven't camped again.. We're settled into our Straw House and feeling like it is The Best Campsite in Arizona.  As Year 2021 draws to a close later today neither of us has the slightest desire to go camping.  Of course, that will eventually change but who knows when?

Once we settled in to our Idahome, we began crafting cribbage boards.  Many Thanks to Jason for jump starting our cribbage craze. Of course, it became a near obsession and that's pretty much all we did from June through October.  We turned out nearly 50 boards and sold about 30 of them.  The most fun of the Cribbage Craziness were the stories our buyers told.  Gosh!  Some were side-splitting funny and one was overwhelmingly emotional. Each story was unique and wonderful.  We carried some boards to Arizona and continue to sell one now and then.  We don't know yet if we will continue making boards in Year 2022.  It's extraordinarily time-consuming, tedious and often very tiring.  On the other hand, it's a great repetitious process for exercising eye-hand coordination as well as streamlining the complex steps from start to sale to shipping necessary for success.  Plus, it keeps a geezer off the streets.  So, maybe we will and maybe we won't.

Year 2021 saw the departure of two of our beloved objects--Marvie The Nissan and our AIRE Lynx II inflatable kayak.  We were sad to see them go but clearly realized their Days In Our Lives were over and it was time to move on.  Both went to Great New Homes and their sales enabled our Salmon River and Sawtooth Country camping trips.

Covid didn't put much of a dent in our Camaraderie for Year 2021.  Family and several Dear Friends visited us at Roosevelt Lake.  We enjoyed great Camaraderie in Globe-Miami.  Many Dear Friend visited us at the Straw House.  Of course, each Summer at our Idahome is a time when Camaraderie shines bright.  Susun spent practically all of her time with her many Dear Friends and the proverbial good time was had by all.  Terry, Carrie and we enjoyed some memorable episodes of Puttz.  We also started weekly croquet and bocce games at a local pocket park.  Getting to visit and play cribbage with Mike & Camille was another highlight of the summer.  Of course, Kenyon & Julie always enliven the neighborhood with their delightful Camaraderie. Our soirees with Karen and Dave were a welcome and wonderful weekly summer tradition. 

Susun was able to visit her Dear Daughters and Grand Sons twice this past year.  Each of her trips to Southern California always seems to get better and better and filled with yet more fun.  As always our visits with Dear Friend Suska were memorable and fun.

Of course, we both had our medical challenges in the past 12 months.  That's a commonality with all geezers our age.  Susun likes to say, "We know we're going to have challenges.  It's not about the challenge.  It's about how we HANDLE the challenge."  So we won't go into medical details.  Let's just say we both handled our challenges as well as possible and we proceeded on.

Our personal Whirled of History continues to grow and expand.  We're finishing Year 2021 with almost 6,000 Followers for our three Facebook history pages for Arizona, Utah and Idaho. We delved into many fun stories and have "enjoyed" all of the Rabbit Holes we visited in Year 2021. Studying history stuff every day serves two purposes: A) It makes time pass very quickly and B ) It's a great way to avoid reading the news.  It's a near perfect Geezer Pastime and will continue so long as we are able.

Most of the last two months of Year 2021 were spent dealing with weeds and brush on our Rimrock property. We finish Year 2021 with perhaps The Best Defensible Space we've ever constructed here at the Straw House.  It's looking really, Really GOOD and we are both quite proud of our hard work since November 1st.

We don't have any specific plans for Year 2022 other than celebrating Susun's 75th birthday at 2:22 PM on 02/02/2022.  Chances are pretty good that Year 2022 will be once again dominated by the Three C's: Camping, Cribbage & Camaraderie. We suspect we will once again go camping at Roosevelt but we don't know when. We will undoubtedly play a lot of cribbage, even if we no longer make boards and abundant Camaraderie will once again be a Bright & Shining High Light of the coming twelve months.

May Your Year 2022 be Your Best Ever to be followed by every year even BETTER!

Happy New Year & Many Gi-Normous Holiday Cheers!

Friday, December 17, 2021

The Rabbit Won

I go down a lot of Rabbit Holes, far more than I need to and sometimes far more than I want to.  And sometimes I go down too deep in them there hare deep I can't even see light at the top of the hole.  Almost always I can beat The Rabbit and come back with good stuff.

But today The Rabbit won and I am pulling out with nothing much to show for a couple of weeks and seemingly countless hours deep down a dark, damp, dank hole.

Yep, it's the story of Dick Wick Hall and Salome, Arizona, and "That Salome Frog" and all of that amore more.  If ever there was a wall at the end of a bottomless Rabbit Hole, I sure hit that wall on this foray underground.

Part of me doesn't want to admit defeat, especially da feet of the rabbit.  They're supposed to be good luck, right?  But the bottom line is "ya hafta know when to hold 'em and when to fold 'em" and when to cut your losses and RUN!  Well, we're up and outta that Salome Hole and we're running fast and far away.

In some ways it's been fun and in other ways not so much.  I found a lot of good stuff but can't really use much of anything because it would be all out of context in a helter skelter meaningless mish mash.  And it just wouldn't be worth the time and trouble to mess with.

Dick Wick's story is filled overflowing with contradictions, conflicting facts, obscure, dubious sources, questions that can't be answered and sources that can't be found.  Just when I thought I was "on to something," I'd get smacked back down with the reality I was on a false, fleeting tangent to nowhere.

And then there's the Dark Side.  Sure enuf I found a Dark Side to Dick Wick, a side almost no one knows and if they do know it, they don't want to admit it.  Everybody just wants to let sleeping dogs lie and move along.  That's all well and good I suppose.  You can get in trouble if you wake up the wrong sleeping dog!

So, each night I lay awake pondering how I could integrate Dick Wick's Dark Side with hisw Light Side and somehow make it work.  Well, there's really no way to have your cake and eat it, too, in his story.  And then there's the fact that everybody LOVES Dick Wick and his Frog and his silly stories.  Dick Wick is kind of an Arizona institution whose "Salmon Sun" debuted 100 years ago.

SO, in summary,, as I tried to peer into the dim recesses of that deep Rabbit Hole, the realization finally dawned that I was on a false and inappropriate journey to nowhere.  

So I climbed out of that hole today and I'm not going back.  It's best to leave Dick Wick Hall's memory and legacy "as is" and not rattle those skeletons in the closet.  Just let it be, as some famous English boy band once sang.

So that's all the story you're gonna get out of me for nearly two weeks worth of hard work.  Now we'll move on to the next Rabbit Hole on down the line and try to keep it simple.

Friday, December 10, 2021

Rippin' it up

Some of you ripped up an alarm clock as a kid, right? RIGHT!  Man, it was easy rippin' it up...but there was NO WAY it was goin' back together to keep time again.  It was D-O-A the minute your little kid hands starting rippin' it up.

Fast forward to being a 70-something geezer.  It's a time of my life when I studiously avoid ripoin' it up.  After all, it's impossible to fix anything these days, right?  Plus, stuff is made to fail from the git go.  That's the modern marketing mantra.  Make it good enuf to work for awhile and then fail.  So people buy a new one.

Well, this week I somehow regressed and began rippin' it up.  Only it wasn't an alarm clock.  It was a propane heater!  YIKES!

A year ago we bought a $100 Mr. Heater catalytic unit to use in our travel trailer.  It performed flawlessly for the past year and completely changed our 12 volt paradigm.  We both LOVE the thing.

And then...  POOF!  It broke.  Like TOTALLY BROKE.  At first I was like, "NO way!"  But this thing was way broke.  I watched all the various YouTube videos on how to fix it.  Most of them looked really scary and I thought like I could die if I tried that stuff.  Propane heaters aren't like alarm clocks.  Alarm clock can't kill you.  Propane heaters CAN kill you!  Trust me.

So, there was a lot of ear and loathing in my rippin' it up this week.  Each day I would rip and tear into a little bit more and then get gunshy and stop.  Then the next day I'd get a little more aggressive and get to rippin' it up a little more.  Finally, Thursday I kind of passed the point of no return and I thought to myself, "I'm NEVER gonna get this thing put back together, let's just go buy a new one."

SO, I dutifully traipsed over to Tractor Supply in Cottonwood and that's when the fun began.  Sure enuf, they have one of the $100 units.  But they said it could only be returned for 30 days.  They said the warranty was only good if you shipped it back to Mr. Heater!  Well, I got cold feet on shellin' out another hundred bucks.

So, I figured, to heck with it, let's really RIP IT UP!  And I came home with a rippin' vengeance in my eyes.  A couple of hours later, the thing lay in even more pieces than ever before.  

And then...

I figured out the problem.  The pilot light feed orifice was completely clogged. Not a nano-atom of gas could pass through it.  So, after a lot of hassle, I got the orifice opened up.  And then, for good measure, I took the feed line to a local auto shop and had them blow it out with compressed air.  Sure enuf, the feed line was clogged with oil.  Oil?  Huh?  Well, Propane People put a so-called "odorant" into the odorless propane gas so humans can smell a leak.  The odorant is an oil.  If the propane sits around long enough, the oil separates and fills in the low areas of the feed line.

So it was a double whammy--a completely sealed orifice and a oil-filled feed line.  Whoop-dee-DOO!

Anyway, I got the innards put back together feng shui safe and, man, that little puppy fired right up with the strongest blue flame pilot light I'd ever seen on it.

All I have to do now is put the sheet metal and plastic side guards back on the unit, attach the handle and we should be good to go.

All this rippin' it up saved us over $100 so I reckon we can call it good.

We DO keep a carbon monoxide and propane gas detector near this unit "just in case," as they say.