Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Chores, New Site, and Teeth


When we aren’t on the move I find it hard to sit down and blog, but here I am. We’ve been staying busy with pickleball and ping pong, walks/hikes around the park and surrounding BLM land, working out in the fitness room, chipping away at our to-do list, and more trips to Mexico for dental issues.

Jim was tired of looking at the yellowed headlights on the Subaru, so he researched and found a do-it-yourself kit by Sylvania. The result was much more dramatic than the photos show.

Before.

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After.

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It made a huge difference but it remains to be seen how long the results will actually last. We even washed and waxed the car to go along with the clear headlights, and Jim  also changed the oil.

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I found some water on the floor behind the toilet which we thought was coming from a leak at the vacuum breaker. Jim ordered a new one so we kept a bowl on the floor to catch the drips for about a week after it arrived because he was dreading trying to get back there to replace it without having to remove the entire toilet. He finally decided to tackle it and found that it was just a leaky grommet, not the entire vacuum breaker, and it was fairly simple to replace. It’s always nice when a repair turns out to be easier than anticipated.

It’s not easy to work on the plumbing in our cramped bathroom.

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Jim also replaced a couple of vent covers on the roof that were cracked. It has been such a joy to be able to order things we want without trying to figure out how they are going to be shipped, since we now have an address where we can receive packages from any carrier. We’ve been getting lots of Amazon deliveries!

Here are a few photos from one of our hikes behind Jojoba Hills. There are miles of trails on the adjacent BLM land.

The smoke plume is from a controlled burn in the forest.

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Looking down on the park.

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Jim scrambling up some rocks in his camo outfit.

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I’ve been pruning trees and shrubs with the landscape committee on Wednesday mornings. Each day volunteers bring home made cookies, coffee and water to the other volunteers. Everyone is always ready for a break by the time they arrive.

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Last Saturday a group of about ten of us helped clean the patio area by the pool, wiping down all the furniture and scrubbing the floors. Hard work! Volunteers do almost everything around here so there are lots of ways to help.

We moved to our new site a bit over a week ago. I love the shade and all the wildlife with the bird feeders and fountain. Our view from inside is blocked by some of the trees but you can’t have everything. It feels odd to actually own patio furniture, a grill, and a golf cart, although the golf cart is having a little mechanical issue which will be looked at on Friday, so we aren’t using it yet.

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I hope we can keep these succulents alive.

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That is Terry and LuAnn’s 5th wheel on the right, but we can barely see it for the shed and vegetation.

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It’s been nice being able to grill our veggies for a change.

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This pair of Mallard ducks has been hanging around our site. They’re very cute, and whenever the female decides it’s time to go the male follows right along, just as it should be Winking smile

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More of our visitors.

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The hummingbirds appear to have so much fun splashing around in the water.

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Last Thursday we went back to Tecate to the dentist, where I had deep cleaning done around the tooth with the gum abscess. She said the pocket was very deep and I needed to see the periodontist, who was not there that day, before they would decide if the tooth could be saved.

Jim thought he was getting a filling, which the endodontist recommended when we were there the first time. The dentist who was going to do it looked at his tooth and the x-ray and said he needed a root canal and a crown, not a filling.They both did agree that there was a crack in the tooth. Jim told him the tooth was not even bothering him anymore, and could he just do a crown, since a root canal could always be done at a later date if needed. He said he would not, because that wouldn’t fix the problem, and that was that. Jim spoke with the endodontist and asked him if someone else in the group could do a crown or filling, and he said no. I guess if they disagree, you are just out of luck! It was a very strange visit, and needless to say we left there not feeling very confident about Adame Dental, despite several people here at Jojoba having had great experiences there.

The following day we called Dr. Maria Fonseca in Algodones, who did our crowns last November, and we were told to come in on Monday at noon. It was a scorcher that day, upper 90s, and we were hoping it wouldn’t be very crowded, but were surprised at the number of cars in the border parking lot. I went first, Dr. Fonseca took an x-ray, looked at my tooth, probed around the gum, and said there was a fracture and decay going down into the roots and that even with another root canal the prognosis was poor for saving the tooth.

I was ready for something to be done, and she asked if I wanted it pulled. Jim kept saying I should think about it, but I just wanted it out, so she called the oral surgeon to see if he was able to do it that day, and within 10 minutes Dr. Roy Cabrillo strolled in, numbed me, and had the tooth out of there. They were concerned it might break off and I would need more extensive work to get it out, but it was my lucky day.

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I asked him to put in the bone graft material so I would be ready for an implant if that’s what I decide to do. I had a lot of bone loss from the infection that has probably been there for a long time, so if I didn’t have the graft done at the time of the extraction it would involve a more complicated procedure later if I want an implant. I am glad it’s over, although I really hate losing a tooth. It’s been uncomfortable but nothing that didn’t ease up with some ibuprofen.

Dr. Fonseca agreed that Jim’s tooth could be filled, but that a crown would be a better long term solution given the crack. She also found two small cavities, so she filled them and Jim will get a crown on the other tooth when we go back in six weeks for me to get a replacement crown for the tooth next to the one that was extracted. She said they can have the crowns by the next day so we’ll probably just spend the night in Yuma when we return since it’s a three hour drive from here. Luckily even though the line to get back into the US was a couple blocks long, it only took about 15 minutes to get through customs.

So that’s some of what we’ve been up to the past few weeks.  Oh, and it’s finally warmed up enough for me to make use of this!

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Friday, March 23, 2018

Day Trip to Tecate and Other Stuff


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About a week ago I developed a toothache, which was better the following day but the gum was sore and swollen. We had planned to go to Mexico soon since I needed two old crowns replaced and Jim needs one also, but I thought I should get this checked out right away and surprisingly found a dentist in nearby Temecula who could see me on Saturday. She found nothing wrong on the x-ray but gave me a prescription for antibiotics and recommended I see an endodontist for a possible root canal.

Not wanting to spend well over $1,000 on another root canal, since I had one on the same tooth years ago, I asked around at Jojoba Hills and found that many people recommend Adame Dental in Tecate, Mexico, about 100 miles from here. Jim got an appointment also and on Wednesday morning we made the scenic but winding drive south through Julian to Tecate.

We paid $5 to park in a small dirt lot about a block from the border on the US side.

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Walk past the duty free store and straight through the turnstiles to enter Mexico. After that there is a customs office where I had to put my purse on a conveyor belt to be x-rayed.

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It was so nice to enter Mexico and not be immediately accosted by vendors or panhandlers, since Tecate is not a big destination for winter snowbirds looking for cheap dental, optical or drugs. Adame Dental is just a couple blocks from the border in a very attractive building.

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We both saw Dr. Ramirez, the endodontist, and had a consultation and x-ray. He told Jim he thought they could just replace his old filling instead of having to do a crown. He did not want to do anything to my tooth until the infection improves, so we are going back on April 10 when I will have a deep cleaning around the tooth that has the infected gum, and then he will determine if I should just have the crown replaced or if it needs another root canal. The antibiotics have kicked in, my tooth does not hurt, and the gum is feeling much better so that sounds good to me. He also gave me a recipe for a solution of peroxide, baking soda, salt and water to rinse with three times a day, and an antibacterial mouthwash to use at bedtime.

After our appointments we walked to the town square, Miguel Hidalgo park, just a few blocks from the border. The population of the greater Tecate area is over 90,000 but it has a small town atmosphere.

Cute house along the way.

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Benito Juarez, President of Mexico from 1861 to 1863 and 1867 to 1872 spoke the timeless words on this memorial “El respeto derecho ajeno es la paz”, meaning “Respect for the rights of others is peace”.

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Tecate was designated a “pueblo mágico” or “magical town” in 2012. “The government of Mexico created the 'Pueblos Mágicos’ program to recognize places across the country that imbue certain characteristics that make them unique, historically significant, with great traditions and offer magical experiences to its visitors.”

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The largest employer is the Tecate Brewery, which stretches on for blocks.

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Since we didn’t have numb mouths, on the drive home we splurged and stopped for a slice of pie in Julian, which broke up the drive nicely. Looks like we’ll be making more trips to Tecate over the next couple months.

In other news from Jojoba, we will be moving to a different site after the first of April. As much as we like where we are, this site is unimproved and with the rain we’ve had lately we have standing water and mud in places and don’t want to deal with getting dirt and rocks to fix it up. The couple in the site next to Terry and LuAnn are leaving the park so we are doing a site swap, as they call it here. On paper we are swapping sites but in reality we move onto their site when they leave and they give up our site. In the deal we are acquiring a golf cart, which we may end up selling, and a lot of things we want like a gas grill, patio furniture, some garden tools, a fountain, lawn ornaments, and a very nicely landscaped lot with trees and a lovely view. Pictures to come after the move.

We attended a New Member coffee last week, where we got to meet all the members of the board of directors and also the park employees. Next week there is a block party for the 400 sites, our new neighborhood, to say goodbye to Kent and Cookie, who are leaving, and to welcome us to the neighborhood. It will take place on the newly redone patio next to the pool and spas.

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Other than that we’ve played a bit of pickleball and have started playing ping pong in the evenings. There is a good-sized group that plays three nights a week on three tables, doubles only, which gives everyone a chance to play quite a few games. It’s been a lot of fun and a good way to meet people. So far life is not bad here at Jojoba Hills. Just waiting for it to warm up so I can use the pool.

And although I don’t usually talk politics on the blog, I had to share this about the spending bill that was passed today. Nice to see something positive about public lands in the news for a change.

https://www.outdooralliance.org/blog/2018/3/22/some-really-good-news-for-the-outdoors-in-the-spending-bill

Friday, March 16, 2018

A Short Visit to the Coast: Morro Bay, CA


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Last week we made our way to Morro Bay State Park for a gathering of 45 Lazy Daze owners. It’s 350 miles from Jojoba Hills, although about 50 miles shorter had we not skirted north of LA to get there, but we wanted to avoid as much traffic as possible. We drove 150 miles the first day, spending the night at the Antelope Valley Fairgrounds in Lancaster, CA. It’s just a basic parking lot but at $25 for a full hookup back-in site it is reasonable, or $30 for a pull-through.

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After a long walk around the perimeter of the fairgrounds we went to check out nearby Bravery Brewing Company.

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We highly recommend The Shroud, an imperial stout. They had 3 types, regular, one aged in brandy barrels, and another aged in tequila barrels. They were all very tasty! The Quadrivium Belgian ale was also excellent. And it’s a comfortable dog and kid-friendly warehouse atmosphere that doesn’t serve food but allows you to bring in your own. We stopped and picked up dinner at Chipotle on the way there. We enjoyed it so much that we took the same route back to Jojoba Hills and stopped for the night again in Lancaster so we could visit the brewery once more.

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From Lancaster we were able to take mostly backroads to Morro Bay, only having to travel on I-5 for 15 truck-filled miles on what is called The Grapevine. Not something we want to do on a regular basis! It was a clear day when we arrived, so we went for a walk along the bay and then I joined the ladies only happy hour while Jim went over to visit (and drink scotch) with friend Tom from Fort Bragg. There is a nice boardwalk trail along the water just across from the campground.

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The sites are close together but since most of our neighbors were other Lazy Dazes, it wasn’t so bad.

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I didn’t take many photos from the get together but this is one of the tech talks where we discussed any issues, questions or problems people were having with their Lazy Daze. Larry Wade, who knows all things Lazy Daze, is in the blue jacket on the left. He is the organizer of this get together, along with his wife Renee. Check out the cat, Smokey, whom I sat next to and gave lots of attention, whether he wanted it or not.

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One of the women in the group trains seeing eye dogs, so we got to meet this beautiful eight month old puppy, who was extremely well behaved.

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The weather was a mixed bag, being nice on our arrival day, to having one entire day of fog, and another with rain from early afternoon on through the evening. In the rain we drove to San Luis Obispo to use the YMCA, eat a delicious vegan lunch at Bliss Cafe, and pick up a few things at Trader Joe’s.

Although miserably damp, cold, and windy, we went for a walk in the fog, with Jim only making it about a half mile before he decided to head back to shelter. I continued along the Embarcadero’s quaint but touristy waterfront where I could not even see Morro Rock.

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The rock finally made a brief appearance.

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Our last day turned out to be gorgeous, so we went for a 13 mile bike ride along the Embarcadero to Morro Strand State Beach.

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Morro Rock is a 581’ high mountain of volcanic rock.

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The stacks of the now defunct power plant a half mile from Morro Rock are an iconic part of the landscape.

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We got to see and hear some sea lions on a pier and a few in the water.

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Not a great photo, but this guy rolled around clapping his flippers and then eating what looked to be a clam.

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Handsome great blue heron.

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The other side of Morro Rock from the bike trail.

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And the beach and Pacific Ocean.

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The lovely view from our last group happy hour/pot luck.

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The gathering was a fun time and we got to talk with quite a few people we’ve met in the past but hadn’t seen in awhile, and also added some new names to our Lazy Daze list of friends. To those of you we met for the first time who read the blog, thanks for following along. Hope to see you down the road!