Retirement

Compass Cactus Flower

I happened to be up in the “outback” (the hill behind the RV drive) yesterday to take photos of our recently recovered RV slide-out toppers when I noticed a flower opened on our Compass Cactus (Ferocactus cylindraceus). These flowers open generally in May and June, but as has been the case this year, many cacti around town have had late blooming flowers here in mid to late July. Click on the image to enlarge.

From LLIFLE (Edited for brevity):

Origin and Habitat: The various variety of Ferocactus cylindraceus (= Ferocactus acanthodes) are spread in the southern of United States (central and western Arizona, southeastern California Nevada, and Utah) and southwards into Mexico (Baja California and Sonora).

Altitude range: From sea level to 1750 meters.

Habitat: This cactus is locally abundant in arid gravelly or rocky foothills, canyon walls, fans and wash margins, sometimes on the plains among creosote bush scrub, it also utilizes slopes and acid igneous rock lands. The species is limited in its northwards range by frost conditions. To reduce the damage by frost the plant is found on south facing slopes and it leans to the south to protect the sensitive growing tip by placing it for best exposure to the sun.

Common Names include:
Spiny Barrel Cactus, Le Conte Barrel Cactus, Barrel Cactus, Golden-spined Barrel Cactus, Desert Barrel Cactus, Cliff Barrel Cactus, Compass Barrel Cactus, Golden-Spined Barrel, Desert Barrel, California Barrel Cactus, Cliff Barrel, Compass Barrel, Compass Cactus

Sweet Sixteenth Blogaversary

Our first post on VERNABOB.COM was on July 17, 2006. We put up a couple of photos of us taken in our leisure time since we were still reporting to work in those days.

Now, after nearly thirteen years of retirement, we’re still going strong in our desert abode. We are currently in a phase of summer weather called “monsoon season” where it isn’t exactly a “dry heat” in the Arizona desert. Even so, we’re mostly indoors where it’s a nice cool 80° with controlled humidity. It’s very comfortable.

As we move further into our retirement years we plan to keep blogging here from time to time.

2022 Cherry Red Cactus Flowers Now Opening

There are several pots in our courtyard containing Trichocereus Grandiflorus cactus (a.k.a. Cherry Red or Torch Cactus). We have been watching a few of the flower buds getting ready to open and today the first ones were out.

We acquired the “parent” cactus several years ago and at one point separated the “mother” from several “pups” which are now planted in their own pots in the courtyard. The one above is a pup with flowers open while the mother is still getting ready to open her flowers.

Click on the image to enlarge.

Photo Status Update

 

It’s been a while since we posted photos of us and our dogs. Life goes on and things change, people get older and pets come and go. So this shows our current configuration of us and our pups – me, holding Cabela and Verna, holding young Tucker. Click on either image to enlarge.

The photos were taken in our courtyard with each of us posing with the big saguaro and ocotillo just outside the gate. In a few weeks, the courtyard will be nearly overtaken with the red bird of paradise (a.k.a. Pride of Barbados) shrubs and their beautiful flowers.

So, that’s our Spring 2022 status update. I don’t plan on doing status updates like this on a scheduled basis, but will probably get to them now and then. Enjoy the rest of Spring and the Summer, too.

2021 Wickenburg Bluegrass Festival

We attended the starting ceremonies of the Annual Wickenburg Bluegrass Festival today. We stayed for the first performing group (shown above), The Sonoran Dogs Bluegrass Band. They were very good, playing and singing. The combo included Bass Fiddle, Mandolin, Guitar and Banjo.

When The Sonoran Dogs finished their set, we went to the vendor area above the stadium and got a couple of souvenirs before heading home. It was a nice outing and we enjoyed some spectacular Arizona Weather with clear skies and 85° spring-like temperature in the middle of November.

The Festival continues for the rest of the weekend, but we were satisfied with our short visit this afternoon.

Upgraded WordPress Today

1955 Packard Clipper

Sun Dog

And now the fun begins figuring out how to use the blogging interface – so far I can’t see how to add photos or to use my old custom buttons from the old version of WP.

FINALLY! it took an hour of poking around both on the blog and on-line help to figure out how to restore the classic editor which is now a plug-in. Still a long way to go to make it compatible with my customized way of doing things.

Retirement Day!

palazzo rvOn this day, October 1, 2021, we’re celebrating our twelfth year of permanent retirement. I say permanent because this date is actually my second retirement, the first being ten years prior to 2009. To make a long story short, we retired rather than take a layoff in 1999 due to a manpower reduction. I immediately found another job at a competitive company to the one from which I had retired which eventually was acquired by my first company. Thus, I retired from the same company twice and now receive two pensions from them.

IMAGE: Thor Palazzo Motorhome ready to roll. Click on the image to enlarge.

In our retirement post last year, we mentioned hitting the road sometime in 2021, but that has not happened (yet). We did not go anywhere in the spring or summer in the big RV for various reasons, but the thinking now is to at least have a two or three-day excursion semi-local somewhere in Arizona. Since I am still healing up from hernia surgery, we need the surgeon’s go-ahead for that, but plan to get it done before it gets too cold for camping.

As far as keeping the RV ready for our next excursion, we have a routine where the engine gets started up and run for a while every week. We run the 6KW generator about once a month with a load, like both A/C units running. We currently have the black and gray tanks filled with a water-bleach solution which will be purged and prepared for use prior to our next run.

We’re thinking that our destination might be in the high desert north of the Mogollon Rim, perhaps Winslow, Holbrook, Homolovi SP and Petrified Forest NP. More on that when we make final plans.

So, join us in celebrating our twelfth AND twenty-second retirement anniversaries!