Sandblasted by the storm

The wind tunnel after the stormDrowned out @ EloyAn epic storm here in Arizona …. the rain they’ve received in the last 24 hours (between 5-7 inches) amounts to more than 1/2 of what Arizona receives in a year. One can only imagine the repercussions …. flash flooding, power outages, sand storms, tornado watches. All this whilst we wiled the day and night away in our Airstream. slaDE~ could even smell the desert within the trailer. Sand managed to creep in through every sliver and crack in the skeleton of our trailer. Part of living in the desert, I suppose. Yet it was only noticing the pile of sand on the inside of the door that we looked for a solution to keeping out the wind which rocked the Airstream and blasted us from the southwest with 55 mph wind gusts. A waterlogged camping spotTaping the window slits and the door crease whilst hanging a towel as a backup helped to keep the swirling dust at bay. So grateful to be stationary in this whirlwind of a storm. Seems like we’ve been chasing violent atmospheric disturbances across the southern US. I look forward to calmer and brighter days. Let’s hope that California brings the gifts of good weather this winter!

Ahoy Skydive Arizona!

Whoa, what a night! Not only was the pain and discomfort a jolt to my sleep pattern, the trailer was a rockin’ with the blasting winds and downpour of rain. Our previous Eloy winter had us see strong winds, but last night really topped the cake. I truly thought that we might actually roll over or have something blow off the top of the trailer. I was extremely grateful to have slaDE~ by my side to help ease my mind. As the morning broke, the winds calmed down and a heavy fog had settled in. If I hadn’t known better, I never would have thought that we were in the desert, with the patterning of puddles everywhere. I could barely walk with the pain and stiffness in my legs. Somehow I managed to shower and fill out a waiver. In the process of doing that, we bumped in to our old friends Alice and John, full-timers on the road enjoying their retirement as skydiving and canoeing enthusiasts. We spent the morning catching up and exchanging stories of life on the road. They shared with us their gorgeous recumbent bikes. How fuN! Recumbent bikes of John and Alice HicksThe weather had calmed enough for a steady influx of jumpers raining from the sky. What a glorious site from the lovely vantage point of our RV campground. We have the tunnel to the east, the landing area to the north and and protective area to the west. Hoping that this westerly protection helps us as the predicted wild week of weather ahead of us rains down upon us. Tomorrow the weather is forecast to emulate a hurricane driving through. let’s hope that we weather the storm and get a few jumps in before we leave on the weekend. Wish us luck! Hope Skydive Arizona survives unscathed through the storm.

Klutz. I. am.

A shorter road trip today brought us into Eloy Arizona. Glorious mountains with tremendous gusting headwinds made for a scenic fuel-guzzling drive. As we made our way off the highway towards the drop zone, a decision to turn around and diesel up before a rocky night with an empty fuel tank. I stepped out in the dark when we were turning our beast around, and when racing back to the truck, tripped on the rock hard asphalt and tore open both my hands and left knee. I truly believed that I may have cracked my patella, but was willing to give my throbbing swollen road rash-ed knee a chance to possibly calm down and turn around in a positive way. Please, oh please, be well (or at least not broken / fractured!). Ice became my best friend through the long sleepless night.

Texas Travellin' Tango

Texas 'sunflower'Gorgeous coloursBy far, today was the best travel day we’ve had in our two months of RVing. After our morning stock-up at WalMart, we set sail  nice and early, with the goal of reaching El Paso by nightfall. Travelling the road less journeyed today was an incredible experience. We thoroughly enjoyed a pit stop at the Langtry Information Centre, just north of Del Rio, Texas. Off the beaten path, this treasure hideaway in a town of 17 offered a cheerful break from the Texan desert push. The travel hub had a beautiful cactus garden to explore. And with the Rio Grande River a short hike away from the village nucleus, we enjoyed a chance to stretch our legs and explore the border divide of the desert river which is striking in its expanse and grandeur. Buzzards circled above, an eye on the desert prey. The bluffs stretched as far as the eye could see, with caverns dipping here and there. The array of rock colours with the burnished tree varieties added distinctive ‘pop’ to an otherwise cloudy muted sky. I enjoyed the enormous photo ops within this storied population (classified as a ghost town!). So much history within the falling walls of buildings deserted.

The landscape off the beaten path was exquisite, and then we reached Interstate 10. The mountains were intriguing with the changing colours, but we were so grateful to have wandered off the path of least resistance. El Paso was a welcome stop after a long engaging  day.

On the road again.

Hard to say goodbyeslaDE~ and I had planned to leave early morning, making our way through Texas along scenic US90, perhaps making it through to El Paso in one day. But fate had other ideas in mind. You see, Barbie the new Mother goat, died this morning, along with her first born who succumbed to this fate shortly after her Mother passed. Only 1 of the 3 siblings remained, a crippled male goat fondly named ‘Little Fella’. I have learned so much about goats in the past week. One being that newborns are incredibly cute and not overtly shy. They are quite playful when they have a sibling to frolic with. And they bunt their Mother’s teat every time they try to feed. Not your typical gentle suckling image. 🙂 We stayed well into the afternoon, attempting to help Kara with the ‘Little Fella’ in drinking from a nippled coke bottle. It was rather humourous watching Kara’s other household pets (2 cats & 3 dogs) assess the new ‘family’ member. Brute, the rather large Rottweiler, seemed to take an instant liking and protectiveness to the 2 day old Billy Goat. Brute and Little Fella

But we had to get underway if we were to make any headway before dark.  I took the initiative to drive the first leg. On Lululemon’s manifesto, they suggest doing something each and every day that scares you. Well, driving our Airstream certainly achieved that measure. I don’t mind streamlining down the Interstate at a steady comfortable pace (can you say 55 mph?), but navigating through traffic, barreling through yellow lights with 11,000 pounds pushing my butt steady forward and piloting around corners leaves me wanting to become a silent and reverent passenger. I’m quite happy to leave the driving to slaDE~. I guess I’ve always been that way in our relationship, although I truly enjoy driving, when on my own. I’ve also discovered on this trip that I am a very nervous passenger with our trailer in tow. Need to breathe more and trust that slaDE~ will guide us safely from place to place (probably a whole lot safer than if I were at the wheel!).

On the road again.3 hours on the road today seemed like such a short haul, but at least, the momentum of leaving the farm established us in a direction towards Eloy. I’m very excited about jumping there and seeing some of our old friends. Part of me wants to winter the rest of our time in the US here, Maverick that I am. 🙂

Arizona bound

IMG_2285It’s been a fun week of living on the farm, experiencing the joys of birth and the lows of flooding. Exploration beyond our corralled walls was actually contained to a minimum from our usual convention of adventurous exploration, flying by the seat of our pants. The expansion this week came from within, delving into the realms of my psyche, really examining my hearts desire and goals. The synergy between my husband and I was not so self-evident at times, as we struggled with words and clashed like polarizing magnets. So close, but yet so far. I suppose that is what makes us so unique and individual in our ying yang relationship. A journey to discover the mutually beneficial ideologies of our life together, venturing to find the harmony in our differences. Not such an easy task, but well worth the challenge and journey. slaDE~s worth it.

Our drive later this morning will be boosted by the readings of Stephen R. Covey. I so look forward to his readings as we make our way across Texas, westbound to Eloy and the patiently waiting wind tunnel!

The messy situations of life

Bleating newbornsThe day was gorgeous and the skies were crisp, clear and a robin’s egg blue in colour. Such a nice change from the rampant rain here lately. The morning was spent playing with the newborn goats and helping to clean up the muddy mess within Kara’s house. You see, they have 3 dogs and 2 cats, with total access to the house and office on their own demand. With the abundant rain comes the vast potential for messy paw and human prints EVERYWHERE. The little darlings ….. I totally have had to relinquish my need for clean. And it’s been actually quite freeing! I still have laundry to do however :). Determined to make the most of our internet connection here in Cibolo, I wanted to upload my blog entries and photos from the past week. And for 6 hours straight, I struggled and fussed over iPhoto, attempting to upload my many photographs into Facebook. No joy and only frustration. Something wrong with the system, and I didn’t know when to let go and move on to something else. Good thing I love my MAC computer!!

Life can get messy at times. It’s quite a feat to know when to clean ones hands and walk away, or stay around and sop up the dirty bits (in for the long haul) knowing that it’ll all return to the natural order of mess with the flick of a paw. Life’s challenges … listen, love and grow. Oh how I love this journey!

Rainy days, movie nights

IMG_2257The downpour continues, and with it, whistling gusting strong winds rocking our Airstream back and forth. Kinda scary considering that our trailer weighs around 10,000 pounds!  With the choice of either puddle jumping or internet surfing, I chose the latter and spent a productive morning and afternoon doing what I love most: internet research and being a surf bunny. Of course, we found time to watch a movie (one I had gifted slaDE~ 3 years ago and never had found the time or motivation to watch before). A documentary of the life of RV Full-timers. Enjoyable, especially as the lifestyle which we once dreamed of is currently our reality! I felt it time that I did some home-country cooking, one that didn’t involve a stick or two of butter, as the Latimer’s lovingly tend to add to their tasty but decadent food-fare. It was to be a innovative concoction: tomato, chickpea and leak spinach soup made up in the Vita-Mix. Of course, never one to follow a recipe or duplicate a creation, I marvelled at the tastiness of this original proaction. RD cooked a lovely meal of fried and grilled Walleye fish. But no sooner were we ready to sit down to a fine meal when I decided to recall to Kara the bleating sounds of a baby goat that I had heard outside earlier. Following her intuition, Kara and slaDE hastened outside to the goat pens, searching for any new birthing activity, and there they discovered Mama Barbie goat in intense labour, already having birthed a glistening newborn. Sadly, the second baby goat had died during childbirth but the third bleating baby boy survived his right of passage. It was fascinating to witness the birth and death process. Quite touching to see Barbie trying to resurrect the dead baby, ignoring her first little live wonder (which happened to be shivering, nestled in muddy and bloody towels amidst the soppy ground beneath it). 25 minutes later, another sibling was born, transformed from a purple sack of fur and blood to a bleating cuddly creature with giant eyes and wobbly legs. Quite a miserable rainy cold night to be born, but glorious in that 2 out of the 3 babies had survived the elements. I didn’t have my camera on me and I was hesitant to leave the sanctuary of the tin shack which housed us from the wind and rain, surrounded by a mess pool of mud and manure. I however will not soon forget the visual wonders of my first goat births and death. The synergy and natural order of things was a sight and event to behold.  Afterwards we watched a few fun movies ‘What Happens in Vegas‘ and ‘Step Brothers‘. Quite the opposite of the drama we had with the life and death of the goats.

A land of many rivers


IMG_2173Although it was a drizzly foggy day, Kara felt spurred by the thought of visiting both the Comal and Guadalupe Rivers. With a early and bright morning smile, Kara knocked on our door and kick-started our day with a cheer and a roar of excitement. And then we were off, exploring the Comal River via a 1.5 mile hike through the woods and a exploratory adventure of the foggy caves and lively geese. I so loved getting out to stretch my body and become one with Nature. feels like it’s been too long!  After working up a daylong appetite, we first explored New Braunfels best thrift store, before joining RD for a buffet lunch at ‘Ryan’s steakhouse‘. Gotta love the buffets here in the US. It’s hard to feed my husband enough food, so at least when we visit an all-you-can eat restaurant, he gets moneys worth for us both! 🙂

We then wandered down by the Guadalupe river in Gruene and had a frolicking fun photo shoot. slaDE and I leaped from rock to rock searching for the perfect stone to balance upon, playing as we sought to strike a yoga pose.  At one point I actually fell in, losing my footing on a wobbly rock … just call me ‘ole wobbly pop :). Thereafter, we sauntered to the closest winery, imbued with giggles and laughter. To top off the evening, we watched my favourite James Bond movie (Daniel Craig is by far the best 007, I believe) ‘Casino Royale‘.

Effective life habits

And so the rain begins. A good day to sit down and read a book, watch some movies and just spend time talking with Kara. The idea of joining Team ‘Hotflash’ as a possibility was thrown my way. WOW! Not quite sure how to make that happen, but just thinking about such a prospect leaves me excited at the adventures which lie ahead for 2010.  As well as being a skilled skydiver and team captain, Kara is an amazingly intelligent and knowledgeable woman. With Kara and RD running a prosperous construction and pool home business, both slaDE and I were eager to learn some of the reasonings and tools behind their success. We thus spent the afternoon and evening talking about our businesses and goals and intentions with them both. Oh what a wealth of information and insight was crammed into a joyful afternoon. I am truly loving the thought of integrating Stephen R. Covey’s book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People®”  into our daily routine.  It’s a wonderful place for us to start our journey of self-knowledge and business development. We have such long journey of learning and growth ahead of us, but wow, the bigger picture looks pretty amazing! I joined the Stephen R. Covey Community and look forward to empowering our greatness.