Tuesday, April 28, 2009


It's not a cup. It's a poor excuse for a flu-filtering face mask.

Just beyond those mountains: Mexico. And the flu.

Paul monitors the situation.

Paul buys swine flu vaccine. Plans to make million$.

What exactly is "essential travel" to Messico?

Thank goodness we've laid in supplies--the most important one.

This contraption that looks like a super-sized silver colon is our deluxe air filtration system.
No pig could ever get through this.

An effective flu fighter.

You can't say we're not prepared. We have locked ourselves in our Green Valley house in anticipation of a major swine flu outbreak here in southern Arizona. Mexico is a short thirty miles south and Mexico has lots of Mexicans and they have the flu and with one giant collective sneeze could infect us all. So we are staying put with our super air filtration system turned up to "max".

Good thing we loaded up on boxed wine at Safeway, which is anything but "safe" since it's full of hacking old people. Daisy has a stockpile of meaty chew bones but is having a hard time chewing through her face mask.

Remember when bird flu had everyone in a twitter (before "twitter" became a verb)? Well, that was much ado about very little. At the same time bird flu was on the march, anthrax was in the mail, ricin in the water and a lot of other toxic fairy dust was floating around that could kill us in a heartbeat.

Some say this is all Obama's doing to push his socialized agenda and speed up nationalized health care when in fact I blame that "pig" (this is Paul ranting) Rush Limbaugh and his lard-ass freaks in the pig sty, Hannity, Glenn Beck, Fred Thompson and his 13-year-old bride. Again, this is Paul's rant, not mine.

All this comes on a day when Arlen Specter switches from the Republican to the Democratic party, thereby insuring the demise of the GOP as we know it and the two-party system. Paul believes this is just the first of many defections to come. And he adds that the Republican party will reemerge around 2025, reconstituted as the twenty-first century Whig party. (Can you imagine Lindsey Graham, Newt Gingrich or Rush Limbaugh in a powdered wig?It boggles the mind.) Yes, go-go GOP. Thank God Daisy's a dem. (Paul's words, not mine. I'm merely the typist for this latest outburst.)

Be afraid, America. Be very afraid. If the flu doesn't get us, a 30% tax on capital gains and 25% on dividends will empty our collective coffers. We'll need a bailout. Where's MY stimulus check?

Saturday, April 25, 2009

A Brief Stop in Red Rock Country

What do a kitten, a beautiful watercolor, and scorpions all have in common? More than you might think. All were part of my triumphant if brief return to Sedona after seven weeks on the road.
While we were criss-crossing the country with dog in tow, our close friends and neighbors Suzi and David snatched the world's cutest kitten from an uncertain fate at the nearby Cottonwood animal shelter. Manly-man David's heart melted when this tiny tortoise-shell bundle of love pressed her little nose against his larger one and well, you know what happened next. Lucky little "Lulu" became the newest member of their household. She really is a doll.

I just read this to Paul and he's ready to hurl. Even so, he admits that Lulu is sweet. And no, we are not getting a cat. Not yet. (wink-wink) One would come in handy to fend off the scorpions that are starting to emerge after winter. First thing I did when I reopened our Sedona house was to look for the telltale signs of scorpion occupation. While we have our house treated for them, you never know when one of the little buggers might sneak in. Haven't found any. So far.
Suzi and David have an affinity for animals and for ....art. Suzi is a gifted watercolorist (if there is such a word) and her hula dancer is one of many paintings that she has created over the years. We are lucky to be the recipients of two--a cactus flower that hangs in our Green Valley house and a rendering of the sacred Canyon de Chelly (look it up) that graces our living room in Sedona.
While it's good to be back in the desert, Paul, Daisy and I can't sit still for long. So we are planning our next adventure: hauling the tin can up the Pacific Coast, all the way to British Columbia, then swooping down to eastern Washington to bug my sister and her husband, eat most of their food and drink ALL of their wine. Believe me, they have plenty. And it's good wine, not the swill we're used to.
In the meantime, we are hanging in Green Valley. A small condo I own here has been vacant for seven long months and before it bankrupts me I need to lease it. So we're sitting here waiting for the phone to ring in response to the ad I placed in the local paper. We shall see...

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Land Ho!

Well, this is it. Almost home. And just when we thought we'd come back unscathed--7 weeks and 7,000 miles without something serious happening--we rolled the trailer.

Nah, we didn't. But something unexpected did take place on our last travel day, Saturday, April 18.

We discovered the "mishap" at a truck stop west of Las Cruces where we pulled over for a bite to eat.

Lo and behold...a disaster!

Somewhere on I-10 between leaving Las Cruces and arriving at the truck stop, the kitchen cabinet (there's only one) had flown open and out flew our "unbreakable" Corian plates, bowls and saucers.

Almost every one of them shattered.

Latches had come loose--we didn't realize how loose--the door opened and you know what happened next. In the meantime, a sturdy rubber band holds the cabinet shut.
Paul's convinced the ghost of Ronald Reagan had something to do with this. Punishment for his endless vitriol against Republicans.

Ho-hum. Daisy Dog takes it in stride. We didn't.

After cleanup, we were on the move again, back to sun-filled Arizona and 90-degree temperatures. Dry heat. It does make a difference.

Back to my beloved rocks, cactus, bugs and snakes.

This little trailer (the tiny one between the two behemoths) has served us well, considering the length of the trip and the non-stop beating it (and we) took rolling down the highway.

Rolling up to the house in Green Valley, south of Tucson.

All this room makes me nervous so we're moving... into the closet. That's more like it.

Getting ready to put this blog to rest, for now.

Daisy surveys her realm. She's been acting up since we returned. We really think she misses being on the road.

And so does Paul. So we'll be off again, probably by late May for the Pacific Northwest, along the California, Oregon and Washington coasts. That ought to be fun--six weeks of non-stop rain and drizzle.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Sir Rantsalot rails against Pecos and other "issues"

This is what I face every morning: Sir Rantsalot

Pecos lures you in with lots of promotional material. This is just one example.

In Pecos, a replica of "Hanging Judge" Roy Bean's courthouse/saloon.
The real one is somewhere else.

The best-looking building in Pecos. Its museum.

Downtown during rush hour. Most businesses are boarded up. A Super WalMart has opened at the edge of town, putting the final nail in the coffin for local retailers.

This collapsed awning has been on the sidewalk for some time.
No one has bothered to clean it up.

But wait, who cares about a washed-up town if you can gorge yourself at the home of the Frito Burger and Curly Fries. Actually, that sounds like something we'd eat.

And you only need to cross the street for a donut the size of a trailer tire.


Damn Near Made It

Arrived about 4 this afternoon in New Mexico, the last state before our home state of Arizona. But, by God, even though we rolled the trailer trying to take the picture of the "Welcome to New Mexico" sign, we are bound and determined to tow the remains back to Green Valley. Thereby completing our close to seven-week long journey. But rest assured, no one was injured and Daisy took the whole thing in stride.

Now before you have a heart attack, the trailer shot we pulled off the internet of some poor soul who did roll his trailer as a result of a blow-out. You are constantly warned to check your tires every day before you set out. This is proof.

By the way, we did have a flat tire on the truck, not the trailer, in Tampa, Florida. But George's Tire Service next to our Bay Bayou RV park fixed the flat for free. Paul gave the guy who did the work a few bucks in hopes he'd buy himself a beer. It's good etiquette and good PR for trailer trash like we are.

Today we really did roll into New Mexico and our last stop in Las Cruces, having spent last night in Pecos, Texas. A place we were looking forward to. Certainly the Old West will come alive here, we thought. After all, the town has an almost mythical ring: Tales of Pecos Bill, "West of the Pecos", the Pecos River. And the promotional material is well written and very inviting. But the reality doesn't match the tourist promotion. This is a sorry excuse for a travel stop. The town has become a derelict. Trash is everywhere. Unemployment is high and Texas has a governor, one Rick Perry who says, "Washington and Mr. Obama. We don't need your stimulus. We can get by on our own."
Gov. Perry also suggests seceding from the union. Well, Mr. Perry, that stimulus could revitalize places like Pecos and Balmorhea State Park, built as a WPA project with red-tiled white-washed buildings and a huge natural springs pool. The buildings are crumbling and the pool needs a facelift. Take a cue from Florida and Republican governor Charlie Crist. Florida's state parks are top notch. And Crist is taking every dime Washington will throw his way. All you have to do is drive I-10 or 20 through Texas and you will see what a sorry state Texas has become in many places. And it's too bad, given the illustrious history of Texas, its subtle natural beauty and truly friendly people.

And again, the aforementioned comments are from my travel companion Sir Rantsalot. He wants me to add that today we were again bombarded not only with lard-ass Limbaugh, Hannity who is fast becoming a Lou Costello lookalike, but with a new talk radio dipstick, the presidential loser Fred Thompson and his 13-year-old bride. Yes, they actually have a radio show with wall-to-wall rants against Obama. Lord, will it ever stop?

Well, Paul is turning beet red and I'm going to have to start pounding his chest. But more than that, Daisy is hyperventilating. She gets that way when Paul goes on one of his rants. Can't have that. And it is all about the dog.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Tea'd Off in Texas

Is that a flaming toilet in this picture?

Oops...second time I posted this photo.

Yesterday, Tax Day, we arrived in the central Texas town of Abilene, expecting to find a wonderfully delicious place depicting the old west. Instead, we found a bunch of locals claiming to be tea'd off over the Obama bailout plans. They were part of protests all over the U.S.
Almost a thousand people showed up downtown waving placards and flags. But here in this Christian right community, the tax protest took on as much of a religious as an anti-tax theme. "Tea'd" stands for "Taxed Enough Already".
Reiterating once again, as you travel across our great country, as we just did and if you don't have satellite radio--Sirius or XM--all you get is the constant anti-Obama diatribe from Limbaugh, Hannity and the like or Bible-thumping from religious right stations.
These people are good Americans but they will listen to only one side of the issue. Ask any one of them what the tax protest is about and they cannot give you an informed answer. And certainly like Limbaugh and Hannity and this so-called reconstituted Republican party, they can offer no viable option to the Obama plan. And Daisy and Paul believe that until America starts moving in the same direction the country will remain polarized and the current economic woes will drag on and on and on, doing no one no good. That's the message from Daisy Dog and Paul. I, Corita, am pretty much middle of the road about all this. Unlike my two radicalized traveling companions. How did Daisy lose her way?

We may be stuck here for awhile waiting for our stimulus check because this is all that's left of our trailer after pieces have flown off along the way, so if you can, please bail us out with lots o' cash. Send it to "Help Restore Our Rolling Home" and get us back on the highway.

While we camp here we'll be investing in this great little business opportunity along the road. A motel that needs a bit of a facelift but it's only $700,000. And the owner is willing to trade our Sedona home for this place with more bedrooms and baths.

But seriously, the reason I wanted to stop in Abilene was to revisit an old friend who has a steakhouse in the nearby historic village of Buffalo Gap. Tom Perini and his Perini Ranch Steakhouse are local legends. Almost ten years ago we produced a story with Tom on western chuckwagon cooking here in Texas. He serves up fabulous steaks in his Buffalo Gap restaurant. If you're a meateater, these steaks rival anything you'd find at Ruth's Chris or in Omaha.
Daisy and I had a filet you could cut with a fork and Paul, not being much of a red meat eater, had the child's plate--a corndog and fries. This, by the way, is another one of those dry Texas county situations where you have to join the private club in order to drink. Lot of club members here.
It's okay to smoke, but God forbid you should have a drink.

Today we're expecting more thunderstorms, some severe with possible tornadoes. Taking off in about an hour for Pecos, Texas. Then Las Cruces, then home.
Right now Daisy's having breakfast, eating the last of the leftovers from last night. And the vet chided us for feeding her red meat saying it would only make her mean. Actually, it only makes her poop. But if gives me plenty of exercise leaning over to scoop the poop. After all, it's all about the dog.