Sunday, April 14, 2013

Desert dangers

Apr. 11 - Apr. 17, 2013 Trailer Village - (Part of Grand Canyon Park), AZ
Finally, we are really seeing green landscapes. We are finally getting back to the kind of vegetation I am more used to...pine trees & grass. I am definitely a mountain lakes and pine forest kind of girl. The desert is fine in the winter when the snakes and scorpions are not out, but in the Summer, I want GREEN, LOTS OF GREEN.
A couple of unfortunate desert encounters we've experienced are,
Puncturevine or goatheads
These things get stuck in the soles of my shoes. If I wear "Crocs", they'll go right through. Ouch! They are very hard. Thank goodness I've never stepped on them barefoot. These are very invasive. There was a poster at Dead Horse Ranch Campground in AZ, stating that if you do step on these, do not just pull them out and toss them (as I have done in the past). These nasty hard ouchies are actually seeds. They separate into 5 sections with 4 or 5 seeds in each section. To dispose of at the least is to throw it in the garbage and best is to burn it.
Surprisingly there are opinions that this plant has health benefits, such as lowering cholesterol.

Cholla cactus, pronounced Choy-a, also known as teddy bear cactus or jumping cactus
Computer Consulting, Web & Print Graphic Design, Photo Repair - JCEThis is a NASTY, NASTY cactus. I was walking our dogs while at Desert Trails RV park in Tucson, AZ. I happened to take a shortcut off the path. I noticed Lyla falling behind. She had these pom poms of spikes on her chest and on her legs. I've never experienced them, so didn't know that it was NOT a good idea to try to pull them off with my hands. OUCH! They are like velcro, only they poke in your body. Everytime you try to take them off, they just grab onto you somewhere else. I had two dogs, so I had to try to keep Devin from also being attacked by Cholla, while trying to free Lyla of them. Lyla tried to take them off her legs by biting them off. OUCH! She looked like she was attacked by a porcupine  She had all these 2" barbed spikes in her snout, and still had them on her legs and chest. Since it hurt so bad to try to pull them out with my hands, I tried my feet. Glad I wasn't wearing sandals. But then these painful puffballs attached to my jean's at the ankles and onto my shoelaces. This is a nightmare. Finally, we just had to slowly walk back to the RV site for help. I was too upset to take a photo. I just wanted these spikes out of Lyla's snout and these evil balls off me also. Scott came to the rescue with tweezers. They are very painful when being pulled out. Lyla was a brave girl.
Here are a couple of videos of people getting caught in Cholla.
Attack of the cactus and Jumping Cholla

Speaking of painful things, I had a slight mishap the other day. I was trying to sew Devin's harness to make it smaller. I knew it would be a difficult task trying to poke a needle through 3 thickness of webbing, but I gave it a try. Scott warned me to be careful. I used an old credit card to push the needle through. But that was not enough. The needle ended up poking right through the credit card and THROUGH MY THUMB. Yes, actually THROUGH. I was in shock! Oh my gosh! What happens now? Is this dangerous? I don't want to go to the hospital! I don't want to tell Scott! Done! I pulled it out myself. I didn't give myself a chance to think about it. I just wanted it out! Once it was out, I put it under cold water, wrapped it with a towel and told Scott. Lesson learned. What has this to do with RV life? I wouldn't have had to try to adjust the size of the harness if we lived somewhere permanently and I could have ordered a harness easily.
Again, I was too upset to take a photo. I needed to get the needle out before I lost my nerve. So, this photo is a "re-enactment" sort of.
Black dot is where needle came out through
Healed nicely with no ill effects.
I spoke to my Mom today. She is staying at American Cancer Sty's Hope Lodge. She has to go through 35 radiation treatments on her nose. 1 per day, 5 days a week. The facility where she is getting treatments is not near enough to home to commute. So, thank goodness there is Hope Lodge that provides housing during her treatment. So far so good. She is handling the treatment well and the oncologist feels they are helping so far. If this does not clear her cancer, they will have to amputate her nose. I know they do wonders with prosthetics, but still when the prosthetic is off, there is a gaping hole. I'm sure that is VERY DIFFICULT to deal with.
Samples of nose prosthetics:

Missing nose after surgery to remove cancer.A prosthetic nose protects sinuses and supports eyeglasses.

Here's a  video of a Woman's prosthetic nose
St. Clair Cab-Zin $12.00
My rating 4.5 out of 5
While in Deming, NM, we visited the St. Clair Tasting Room. I only bought 1 bottle of Cab-Zin and I'm sorry I was so conservative in my purchase. This is the first winery, that I actually really liked their red wines. Cab-Zin is not as "blushy" as I would have thought. It is more on the Cabernet side than Zinfandel side.

Johannes Linstead
My rating 5 out of 5
While shopping in Jerome, AZ, Johannes Linstead, Mediterranean was playing. So soothing. I love acoustic guitar music and this is mainly just that with an added Spanish guitar touch also.

While browsing this same shop I was in awe of the artistry of Jon Anderson. He is a Fimo clay artist. I've tried my hand at Fimo clay. This is one of the crafts I made room for in our RV. There are so many little crafts that can be done with this clay. You can make decorative  pens, crochet hooks, knife handles. You can make cute little critters and characters, or beads for jewelry. 

But Mr. Anderson's work is amazing.

This is NOT painted. This is all clay rolled and flattened to make these patterns. Here is a video, briefly showing how he does it.


Apr. 18 - Apr. 24, 2013 Meteor Crater RV Park - Winslow, AZ
Apr. 25, 2013 (Tentative) Calizona RV Park, Needles, CA
Apr. 26, 2013 (Tentative) Sierra Trails RV Park, Mojave, CA
Apr. 27 - May 5, 2013 (Tentative) Sequoia RV Ranch, Three Rivers, CA

NV, CA, OR, ID, WA, MT, ND, SD, WY, then south for the Winter of 2013/2014

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the cholla videos. Luckily we have never come into contact with them!


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