Routine Days and Exciting Weekend in Phoenix

I can’t believe another month is gone by since my last post. It’s hard to believe we are already almost a full month into the year of 2019. I hope everyone is having a great start to the new year. As I get older the years seem to fly by even faster than before. My life has been mostly busy just with routine days working on projects here at the park, and occasional day trips. On Christmas Eve day it was sunny but cool so Maxine and I decided to take a ride up to Julian, California, to do a little sightseeing. Julian which is about an hour north of here in the mountains at 7000+ feet elevation. We drove the scenic “Sunrise Highway” which winds up through the hills with beautiful views like this. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe were hoping maybe to find a little snow but there was none that day. But overnight on Christmas morning they got a nice covering of fresh snow. This is kind of a local tourist spot that gets a lot of people day tripping from San Diego area to take in the winter views. Since my last post the weather has taken more of a winter’s turn here in Southern California. As I had told in my last post the first two months down here were beautiful mostly sunny warm and pleasant with a few windy and rainy days but overall great weather. But this past month is been filled with more rainy and cool days many only getting into the mid-50s with a few frosty nights. As matter of fact we just had four overcast days in a row, which was quite unusual for here in Southern California. But yesterday ended up being a beautiful day reaching the low 70s calm and sunny once again. But no matter what the weather is still been a lot better than it’s been up north in Wisconsin, and all across the northern states. So, I have nothing to complain about. One other nice day we took a trip into the beach so Maxine could be “Queen of the Beach” once again. 20161204_140434We also stopped down by the marina and I took a photo of the couple kissing bringing in the new year. This statue (known as “Unconditional Surrender”) – recreates the famous embrace between a sailor and a nurse celebrating the end of World War II in New York’s Times Square in 1945. It was made after a famous photograph taken by “Alfred Eisenstaedt” and stands proudly next to the Aircraft Carrier Museum “USS Midway” that’s in San Diego harbor. If you like you can check out my post here, went Jennifer, Paul and I visited here two years ago. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Today I was hoping to do some painting, but when I woke up. Even though it’s sunny and warm the wind is blowing at a steady 20 miles an hour with gusts in the 30s and 40s. So, I decided it was time to get out this well needed post. I’ve had a few people wondering what’s been going on in my life and checking in on me over the last couple weeks. Things have been good, mostly routine. But I did get one exciting weekend away in Phoenix, Arizona to visit my good friends Joe and Murlane. 20161225_130703On Friday, 11 January we jumped in the car early and took our five-hour ride across the desert arriving at their place midday. It was a very pleasurable drive through the Imperial Valley, I always enjoy this trip. I stopped at one point got a few pictures of the windmill farm. 20170304_154827OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThere’s also several large solar field and of course this area is heavily into agriculture, with all kinds of different crops growing in the year located fields along the way. As most of you know Joe and Murlane my good friends and neighbors from Wisconsin have been wintering in the same place in Phoenix for many years. Two years ago, when I was down here, I got to spend Christmas with them and had hoped to do it again this year but just never came to be. You can check out my post about that visit here. But seeing they were so close I had to make a trip and spend a couple days with them at least. Because I won’t get a chance to probably see them again until next September. We had a wonderful time catching up and playing cards, enjoying good meals together. And as a bonus their son Mike (who is my age and also a good friend) along with his girlfriend arrived on Saturday evening and spent the next week in Phoenix. So, I got to catch up with him also. But the three days went by lickety-split. So late Sunday afternoon I had to head home but it’s an easy drive and it was sure a great time. Also, as a bonus I got to pick some lemons off my favorite lemon tree in the park. These lemons will make some great lemon bars and lemon meringue pie their always so much better when the fresh off the tree. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAs I am sitting here working on this post, I been watching the poor hummingbirds struggling against the wind trying to feed from my hummingbird feeder in the window. 20190124_112249 And Maxine is here in one of her finest posies, you can see the hummingbird at the feeder in the background. No matter what Maxine says she’s got the good life. 20190124_122031Here are a few other photos, I took of some of the other birds that frequent the park. This Blue Heron Crane likes to hang out in the park. I’m not sure what he feeds on but he frequents the park quite often. 20170202_141910And most nights we get a large flock of turkey vultures that like to roost in different trees here at the park. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOne calm day I got some cool photos of the hummingbirds at the other feeder. dsc_0085dsc_007920170224_120430As you can tell the start of my 2019 has been fairly routine. But routine can be a good thing. Life is good and I hope it’s good for you too, thanks for coming along till next time Happy New Year and best wishes throughout the year to you all, Rick    

PS: I’ll leave you with one last photo taken a few days ago when the moon was full rising through the trees.




  1. Bet you didn’t have to twist Maxine’s paw too hard to get her to decide to go to Julian! Routine is good this time of year, Rick. The sun is low and our metabolisms are slow. 🙂


  2. Rick, That big bird is a Great Blue Heron and they do catch and eat gophers as well as frogs and fishy things. They hunt in the vacant fields here in Mendocino as well as along the river.

    Julian is where my wonderful wildlife art teacher lives. He probably has his work in galleries there. Check him out on the web. His name is Joe Garcia and he paints wonderful watercolors of wildlife. You metioned you paint. Water or oil? I do watercolors and have some prints here in the Mendocino Art Center.

    Happy New Year and loved the photos of Maxine.

    Sherri Anderson


    • Sherri
      I knew they eat frogs & fish but we have no water here at the park.
      But the gophers make sense, we have a lot of them 🙂
      I dabble with acrylics a little.
      Thanks for following along 😎


  3. Love and miss you dad. Weather is so much better then Wisconsin

    On Thu, Jan 24, 2019, 3:54 PM On The Road with Maxine & Me R Raab posted: “I can’t believe another month is gone by since my last > post. It’s hard to believe we are already almost a full month into the year > of 2019. I hope everyone is having a great start to the new year. As I get > older the years seem to fly by even faster than b” >


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