Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Four Corners Monument

We left Arizona on June 28th taking Highway 89 north and then Highway 160 across the Hopi and Navajo reservations.  Our destination was the Four Corners Monument and the start of a Colorado tour at Cortez.  The reservations were flat desolate desert, but there were ample gas stations along the way. 
Four Corners Monument is located just off Highway 160 on the reservation and is managed by the Navajo tribe.  It is not a national monument, so you will not have free access to the monument through your Golden Pass.  It's just our opinion, but we didn't feel it was worth the $10 per person entrance fee.  If you've seen an Internet picture of the plaque designating where the four states come together, you've seen what there is to see!  We felt a bit ripped off in that it was very much a commercial venture.  All the doors you see along the back of the buildings go into marketing booths for selling ones wares!
This sign is at the entrance to the pavilion.  I just thought it was interesting.
These are the sales booths that surround the four corners plaque.  Most were empty the day we were there.
This is the famous four corner plaque in the center of the pavilion.  As you can see, there is a line of people waiting to take their pictures on it.
This is just another perspective, as we walked around the pavilion.  There were openings between each section of the pavilion buildings, as you can see looking in the distance.  I was disappointed that there weren't signs designating what state was being viewed.  I thought that would be a nice touch, even though it was all desert.  I guess I hoped there might be some slight difference to hang onto.
This is a picture in one of the directions, but I don't know what state!
This is a picture in another direction, but again not knowing what state!  All in all the visit was very short, high priced and pretty disappointing.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Gem And Mineral Show

While staying in an area, we like to watch for local events and check them out, even if it is something we wouldn't consider ourselves interested in or knowledgeable about.  We find that there is always something for us to appreciate and we generally learn something new, too.  This gem and mineral show is put on by the Mohave County Gemstoners Club.  Enjoy the show!
Love these!
Amazingly pretty colors and patterns available in nature!
I believe these are salt crystals.  I love the lighted one! 
At first I thought these were just cheap looking necklaces, but I've come to realize that they are gems and minerals cut into beads and strung on fishing line for sale to people who make jewelry!
I thought the knife holder created from a cactus core made for a nice display! 
We were told that the black knife blades are made from meteorites!
Pretty lavender color! 
I thought the columns found inside the larger pretty rock were cool!
These are interesting formations!
This is called a desert rose.  I've never seen such a large one.  You can read on Wikipedia about the special conditions that form them.
These are sulfer!  We were told they exude the sulfer smell when broken open!
Lots of pretty turquoise for jewelry or other crafts! 
Very pretty pieces!
Pretty pink! 
We were told that the fossils in these platters are real and not transferred patterns.
Some fancies for the wealthy!  I personally can admire the beauty of jewelry, as an art piece, but am only comfortable wearing a minimum of it.  I've considered buying jewelry just to frame as art!
I remember these whimsical watches from childhood!
These are cute little polymer creatures!
 Here's an interesting variety of things unknown to us!
Pretty and shiny! 
Hmmm?  What are they?  Pretty green and orange, whatever they are!
 Fool's Gold!
Hmmm?  What could be made out of these? 
More creative opportunities! 
Here is a creative idea!
Look at that amazing red and that perfectly striped piece at the top of the picture!
Enjoy checking out some more displays!
This knife has a stag horn handle.  I first took the description to mean the horn of a large animal, such as an elk, but now I wonder if staghorn is a type of gem!  Hmmm? 
Wasn't that a fun tour?  We enjoyed visiting with the club members we met!  If we were to remain in Kingman, I could see us joining this club for their educational field trips into the outdoors looking for gems and minerals!  Now that's something we didn't see coming!  


Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Verizon Head Trips!

When settled into an r.v. park, Roy and I enjoy lots of computer time.  We were on a plan with Verizon that allowed us 26 gigs of reliable speed usage.  While in Sierra Vista, AZ; Verizon offered us their unlimited data plan for what would be a cost savings.  We made the switch with excitement at the thought of all the things we could explore on the Internet with unlimited data usage.  We weren't told of the fine print that says that the usage speed will be throttled back at 10 gigs of use!  With our new found internet freedom, we burned through our 10 gigs of usage in a day or two and the speed throttled back so severely that it became unusable!  We were flabbergasted at a data plan being called unlimited and then made unusable at 10 gigs!  In our minds it was like buying a new car and then finding out the engine was set to shut down after 10 miles!  In researching Verizon's unlimited data plan, we found from other people's experiences, that the severity of the throttle back depends on how busy the towers are in an area.  People in some areas reported using 60 gigs of high speed internet and not being throttled back!  Four days into having the new plan, we called to cancel it, and were enthusiastically looking forward to having our 26 gig plan back!  Close to that time, we moved to Kingman, AZ.  We found that the clerk at Verizon hadn't cancelled our unlimited data plan, so decided to give it another try in our new location.  We couldn't believe it, when we burned through 60 gigs of data without being throttled back!  We had top notch download speeds and videos shown in high definition!  Wow!  What a difference!  We were on an internet head trip!  We were gaming and researching galore.  Best of all, we were exploring the world through listening to lengthy educational conferences on various topics, watching wonderful travel videos, as well as, the frivolous fun filled ones.  We streamed movies, t.v. shows and music!  All was great until the day Verizon must have decided to control the towers and informed us that our data usage would be throttled back at 10 gigs.  The month they started throttling again, the videos and streamed programs became so glitchy and grainy as to no longer be enjoyable.  General navigation speed on the internet was unpleasantly slow.  Once again we considered going back to our 26 gig plan with a reliable speed.  Hating to give up our new found unlimited data, Roy started researching the Internet for answers about Verizon's unlimited data plan.  He learned pertinent information, which he then confronted the Verizon staff with!  The catch to the 10 gig throttle back is that each device you have on your Internet plan has it's own 10 gigs of usage before being throttled!  In our case that means I have 10 gigs of high speed internet through my phone before being throttled back, as does Roy for his phone, and then also for our jet pack.  That gives us 30 gigs of high speed internet!  Each phone and the jet pack can be used as a mobile hotspot for operating our computers or the streaming feature in operating our DVD player for watching movies and videos on our flat screen television.  We learned that we can add additional devices to our plan for a flat $20 fee each. We have our old jet pack and we considered picking up used phones from a pawn shop solely for adding to our internet plan!  This technique would be cheaper than a more extensive plan that Verizon was offering.  What we have since learned is that Verizon doesn't appear to have the capability to throttle back data usage or speed, when a phone is used as a mobile hotspot!  In the last 10 days I used 30 gigs of internet operating my desktop computer's internet and Roy used 22 gigs with good speed and high definition operating his laptop computer through his phone, as well as, watching long videos and streaming off the air t.v. programs!  This experience has been amazing!  For those of you old enough to remember telephone rates based on the times and locations of calls and now enjoy unlimited phone use without parameters; that appears to be the future of truly unlimited internet usage to come!  Wow!  Won't that be something!

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Health Detour

We took a tough 15 month detour down a dark road of severe health issues with Roy and both our cats, too!  In September 2016 we pulled into Camp Verde, AZ for the winter.  We were feeling the effects of having been on the move for the last year and Roy was starting to feel an increased sense that his diabetes needed tended to.  As stated in the last post, Roy has been battling Type II diabetes for about 10 years.  He hasn’t done well on medications and has managed it the best he could through exercise and diet, but had waned in his vigilance during the prior two years.  In September he started doing the traditional changes diabetics make to their diet and began exercising again.  In November we moved to Cottonwood.  The techniques that had been successful for Roy in the past were no longer effective and by February his blood sugar readings were getting critical!  His blood glucose reading was breaking 400, when it should have been below 100!  He discovered a vegan diet espoused by Dr. Gabriel Cousins to cure diabetes.  Through riding his bicycle and implementing Dr. Cousin’s extreme eating plan, Roy brought his blood glucose down around 200.  Eating vegan we both quickly lost 20 plus pounds.  This proved to contribute negatively to the health battle we were to face, as Roy in desperation resorted to medications, despite knowing he is chemically sensitive.  What I want to convey to you at this point is the importance of researching the side effects of medications.  Be proactive in talking with your doctor, as to what you will and won’t do!  Look for and keep an open mind to alternative treatments.  We feel it made all the difference in Roy surviving his trip through the array of medications offered by the doctor.  The doctor’s first choice in diabetes medications was Januvia.  We said no, as it was already having lawsuits.  It is a medication that you might do fine with, but if not, the side effects could be serious.  The Januvia lawsuits were in regards to the drug causing pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer!  The doctor also wanted Roy to go on cholesterol medications despite our telling him that Roy had been very sick on them when he tried them before.  Roy feels he may have acquired diabetes, as a side effect of the cholesterol drugs Tricor and Lipitor!  We have to wonder how many people would take these cholesterol drugs, if they were forewarned that there was a chance they could acquire diabetes from them!  We told the doctor, no!  Besides the aforementioned factors, how would any of us know which drug was affecting Roy negatively, if he took two medications together!  The most common oral medication for diabetes seems to be Metformin.  Other drugs are compared to it for how hard it is on a person’s stomach!  Roy tried Metformin, Glipizide and Glimepiride.  The side effects are stomach pain, nausea, loss of appetite, jitteriness, shaking, irritability and many more.  The side effects worsen with exposure to sunlight and here we are in Arizona!  Roy spent his days in bed, sick to his stomach and without an appetite.  He had to force himself to eat and couldn’t take in enough nourishment to sustain a healthy weight.  You can calculate the number of calories required daily to sustain a particular weight by multiplying 13 times the desired weight (i.e. 13 x 180 = 2,340).  The doctor didn’t seem to acknowledge side effects other than to offer a switch to another medication and didn’t address how to bolster Roy nutritionally!  It was only through our Internet research that we discovered the high calorie drinks of Glucerna and Boost.  Original Glucerna is 190 calories per 8 oz. shake and Boost comes in 3 levels starting at 240 calories for the original to 530 calories for the Very High Calorie 8 ounce shakes.  Roy lived on these at his sickest.  We learned that anything from McDonalds is high calorie for a small amount of food intake.  It may not be the most nutritionally sound, but when you are fighting a lack of appetite and a high rate of weight loss, it can make all the difference!  Roy got so thin while trying diet and medication changes, I was in fear of his organs shutting down.  His stamina was so low he couldn’t sit through a doctor’s appointment!  The next step was to try an injectable insulin called Lantus.  It was presented as basically side effect free.  Wrong!  As memory serves, approximately 50% of men age 60 plus will experience the side effect of severe depression, confusion and drunken mannerisms!  Seeing Roy go through these side effects was even more difficult than the more comprehendible stomach upsets.  Safety in driving became an issue!  At this point we were done with prescription meds and with the help of a woman (or angel) we met at the dog park, we were guided into homeopathic answers.  The results were instantly good in lowering Roy’s blood sugar without the accompanying sickness.  He also had happened upon the Ketogenic Diet, which is a high fat low carbohydrate way of eating and felt like a very normal style of eating to us.  There is a wonderful Facebook page of supportive people to teach you how it is done.  Here is the link:  Ketogenic Diet Open Discussion.  Two recipes you need to try just because they are soooooo good are Caulimash (cauliflower prepared like mashed potatoes) and Caulirice (cauliflower quick chopped in a blender to the texture of rice).  Cook the caulirice in a skillet with butter, salt and pepper.  You can find them in the frozen vegetable section at the store, but they are really quick to prepare from fresh cauliflower.  There is also a health tracker called My Fitness Pal that will track about anything health wise that you want it to track!  Here is the link:  My Fitness Pal.  The original homeopathic supplements Roy took were Nopal Cactus tablets and capsules called Diabetic Support, by Better Health brand.  Roy slowly worked on his stamina and neuropathy through taking advantage of the local aquatic center hot tub and lazy river.  He added recumbent bicycling, walking and lifting light weights, as he could.  He has very painfully toughed his way through the regeneration of nerves from his feet up into the upper half of his body.  He has areas that are once again feeling normal and areas still regenerating.  It has been a long hard physical and emotional journey for the both of us, but we are happy to say that as of December 9th we are on the road again!  We traveled down to Sierra Vista, AZ to be with friends and to help one of our cats that acquired a mystery ailment in February 2016.  Our cat, Odie, has been to two vets and tried many treatments.  He appears to have what is called Eosinophilic Granuloma Complex and it is indeed complex.  Here is a link to information about it:  Eosinophilic Granuloma Complex.  Thinking his health disorder is allergy related, we returned to Sierra Vista, where he spent a healthy winter getting outdoors from December 2014 through February 2015.  I met a friend of a friend via Facebook whose cat has the same thing.  He has been to 6 vets one of which is a dermatology specialist.  It is only after several vets and the passing of a year that he has some tentative results in curing the sores and itching that this disorder presents itself as.  Odie is making progress in that the sores that appeared last February have healed, but the two that arrived in April may take until this April to heal.  Our cat, Charles, gave us a scare, but with lots of money and most of his teeth pulled, he is back to his fat and sassy self!  We’ve spent almost 3 months in Sierra Vista physically and mentally recuperating and have plans to travel to Kingman, AZ on March 11th!  Odie spent a healthy summer getting outdoors there in 2015.  We are looking forward to this summer and once again traveling down the sunnier roads of life!