Indio, California: We hope you all had a fine holiday yesterday. Our RV resort was like a ghost town. I jogged around the park without seeing even one other human. No one in a car. No one walking a dog. No one out on a golf cart cruise. Very odd.

Big site build-out down the street (photo taken 26 December)

We sure enjoyed the mid-week pause in construction noise/traffic throughout the resort.

Jimmy Buffett celebrated his 67th birthday Wednesday, so I served Cheeseburgers in Paradise. We had fancy-schmantzy gourmet beef patties and two brioche buns from Napa’s Model Bakery in the freezer, Farmers Market tomatoes, Swiss cheese, Red Duck Ketchup, and tangy-sweet homemade bread & butter pickles from our a-few-sites-down neighbors, Karen & Dick. These ingredients came together to make a fabulous burger. Yukon Gold potatoes were fried using the unusual method recommended byCook’s Illustrated that I first tried in 2009 and now only make fries in this manner… though I rarely make fries… but, anyhoo… our meal was outstanding.

Our Big Project for Today was to cut a slice out of the side of the Big Plastic Boulder we bought, so it will fit over the water softening equipment. Somehow, just a bit of water (we think from the lawn sprinkler on the lot next door?) found its way inside the circuit board and over time caused enough corrosion for the softener to fail. It was an easy fix by the Culligan Man – and somehow covered by warranty – but we don’t want it to happen again – thus the boulder.

Just a few days without a working water softener really made us appreciate our investment. With treated water, dishes from the dishwasher are sparkling clean. Laundry gets cleaner. Silky soft hair after a shower. Without the softener, dishes develop a nasty white film and if the shower isn’t immediately squeegeed, terrible white grungy spots develop on the glass shower walls. Having soft water saves appliances, showerheads and faucets from crusty build-up. Ice cubes are crystal clear and we can drink water from the tap. Our system was installed to treat all water (except irrigation) on our site – RV and casita.

The water softener (left) is installed at water access at the driver-side rear of our coach.
We ordered a fake boulder to cover the water softening equipment.

DT used a little saw to cut-out space for the water pipes, and – voila
 – we now have a flush-to-the-ground fake boulder protecting our water softener!
Keepin’ it classy!

Then a crew arrived to wash our motorhome.

The temperatures have been in the 80’s for the past three days and the long-term forecast calls for more of the same. Reese does not like to walk in the heat, so we give him his long walk in the morning. We each take him for a half-mile walk. Reese is 11 and has had two ACL reconstruction surgeries. A mile is a long walk for the old dude.

In the heat of the day, DT and I put Reese in the golf cart and drive him to one of the many grassy dog parks in the RV resort. We are also afraid Reese is starving to death without his usual snack-fest from items dropped under Leo’s high chair… so… there is a slight possibility… DT may slip Reese a few table scraps now and again. That dog is so spoiled!

Tonight we had a three-course Chinese dinner. I made Lumpia (Filipino-style egg rolls), Hot Sour Soup and Kung Pao Chicken.

Reese didn’t get any table scraps this evening.

Until my next update, I remain, your spicy correspondent.

SLOGGER REPORT: Alternated walking/jogging 5 miles yesterday between iPod songs (Jimmy Buffett only, since it was his birthday and all). Today I ovaled the half-mile loop around our end of the canal – walking the curves and jogging the straight-a-ways – 10 laps for five miles. I probably looked like a hamster on a wheel to the neighbors, but 87 miles down this month; 13 to go! I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

RV PARK: The Motorcoach Country Club – The Crown Jewel of Motorcoach Resorts. 400 sites, three pools, three spas, fitness center, golf, bocce ball, tennis, 2-mile waterway, fine-dining restaurant, bar, security, planned activities, perfectly maintained. Sites for sale or rent.

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