Thursday, January 17, 2008


This photo has nothing to do with anything, except for the fact that we are still in Tucson... where I feel like I am falling behind. Odel has a big hike in mind for today, while I am ticking off my too-long to-do list.

Staying in one place for a few weeks brings mixed blessings... like the MAIL. In our pre-fulltiming life, getting the mail was kinda' fun: magazines, catalogs to be thumbed then tossed, junk to be discarded, and maybe a few bills that needed attention.

Thanks to our mail forwarding service, Alternative Resources, we don't get any junk mail or catalogs... so our mail package, received once a month or every couple of weeks, is ALL BUSINESS: bills to be paid (usually our share of healthcare charges, one of the few things we can't pay automatically or online), bank statements, financial updates, and every once in a while, a personal letter (very welcome). Somehow, the mail always seems to bring at least one problem to be sorted out, and paying the bills and updating our financial records ends up being a time-consuming job when we only do it once a month.

Another thing on my to-do list: plan the food I want to have on board when we head to Quartzsite for 5 days of boondocking next week. Doesn't seem like such a big task, does it?

Cooking when boondocking can be tricky, especially when we are meeting up with the Boomers. The rule of boondocking is: USE MINIMAL WATER. Even those of us westerners who have lived with periodic drought cycles throughout our lives don't know what MINIMAL means until we try to run the household on 100 gallons of water for a week. I've read that the typical U.S. household uses 150 gallons a DAY, so you can use your imagination on where you might cut back. (By the way, many of our boondocking friends make their water last far longer than we do.)

When I cook, I use a lot of water. Washing vegetables. Cleaning off the cutting board. Washing my hands. Washing big bowls or pots that get in the way. Wiping down the counter.

Well, "mindless" washing is out for boondocking, so - for an obsessively organized person like me - tight planning is on the agenda. I cook meals in advance, wash vegetables while we still have unlimited water, and plan one-pot meals for those that aren't pre-cooked. Boomers usually have one or more potlucks and daily happy hours, so a potluck contribution and snacks are on the menu, too. The planning, shopping, cooking, chopping... it definitely takes time, but the payoff is great: plenty of yummy, quick cleanup meals.

So... I have lots to do and should be doing it - but one last thing before I sign off: I got my first "catch" on BookCrossing, a response about a book I had "released in the wild" at Chopped Restaurant. The young woman who found the book also joined BookCrossing, which pleased me.

For those who are interested or have joined BookCrossing recently, I have released 22 books in various places (restaurants, doctor's offices, laundramats, senior centers, libraries, stores, on gas pumps) here in Arizona since I joined BookCrossing last December - this was my first "catch". Most BookCrossers report a catch rate of 10-15%, so I was due for a catch soon. Experienced BookCrossers counsel patience for newbies; the longer your releases are out there in the world, the more likely you are to hear back on/from them.

Okay, gotta get busy!


  1. I just reported "Three Cups of Tea" on the BookCrossing site. That book is GREAT, and it is going to be making the rounds in SE AZ for quite awhile. I am even going to pass it along to someone I hardly know, in the spirit of BookCrossing.


  2. Hi -- we're your new neighbors. I'm hoping to get to meet you while you're still here. Just started following your great blog!