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March 19, 2023

Visitors–Marty and Juanita

Fran and I picked up Marty and Juanita from at the Cross Border Xpress (CBX) after their flight from Mazatl├ín.  One of their bags was very heavy!  I asked what was in it, he answered ‘wine’.

Apparently he did not understand that only 2 liters of adult beverages can be brought accross the border, when Volaris said there was no limit on what he can carry to Tijuana!

US Customs did allowed him to bring it all in, ‘this time’.

See why he's my favorite brother?

And here’s another favorite brother moment.

He enjoys doing the yard work!

If you missed my previous post you can catch up on our Borrego Springs adventure HERE.

Font's Point

It was windy and cold there, and it was much of the same here.

One of the indoor days we whipped out a jigsaw puzzle.

Juanita makes an excellent salsa.

She lines the pan with foil so she does not burn the pan, since she uses no oil.

We braved a cold overcast day to wander a bit in Old Town.  Really not much going on that day.

Church of the Immaculate Conception

Note the little red buttons in front of the votive candles?  Electric prayer candles!


Old town Market

We all enjoyed Taco Tuesday at Offshore Tavern and Grill.

Certainly one of the best and also the closest.

I didn’t do a very good job of documenting their visit, but did spend a great deal of quality time enjoying their company.  But Marty did capture a couple pics of a family gathering at our house.

Fran, Jason, Susan, Kami, Juanita

Jason, Marty
Yes the sun did finally come out!

One good thing from all the wind a bunch of Macadamia nuts were blown down from high up in the tree beyond my each.  More then enough for another cake!

March 11, 2023

Borrego Springs - Borrego Winds

My brother and his wife are visiting from Mazatl├ín on their way to their summer home in the great PNW.  Rather than detail all the family doings I will dedicate this blog to our trip to Borrego.

What's missing?

Fran's a good guess, but not what I was looking for

I hope you recognized the Welcome sign at Christmas Circle.  This is how it looked before the wind broke off the 3 4x8" supports holding it in place.

The official wind was 102 mph although at the American Legion it was 107 mpg.  Glad we missed this windstorm!  It was a few weeks before our trip.

We are staying at the American Legion this trip, as I have not yet fixed the furnace, and we'll need to use the space heater.  A site with FHU is $30.  While we were at the Legion it remained mostly windy.

We planned the visit to arrive on Wednesday, which is Burger Night at the American Legion.

In addition to burgers they also serve Polish Dogs

This is a vey popular event!

Thursday dawned to clearing skies!  Fran had the chance to practice her chip shots.

While Marty and I relaxed.

Taking advantage of the clear morning, we all piled into the Jeep for a visit to Font’s Point.

‘The Sweepings of the Earth’

The view across Clark Lake, with bit of snow on top.

Marty and Juanita enjoying the sun.

Marty enjoying Dad’s favorite view.

The 4 of us on Dad's spot.

Juanita, Marty, myself, Fran

Leaving Font’s Point we were in search of wildflowers.  Certainly not a ‘Super Bloom’, but there are indeed flowers in bloom.

Henderson Canyon

Henderson Canyon

Fran’s happy we stopped at the Seely Ranch for their organic grapefruit.

Our beautiful day did not last  The evening brought light clouds and gentle winds that picked up overnight.

Friday morning dawned with lenticular clouds below a heavy overcast.

A hearty breakfast at Kendal’s, we wandered through the Farmer’s Market.

I needed to go to the Borrego Springs Library to renew my library card.  As we walked through the Community Garden there was additional wind damage.  The wind had also knocked over the sculpture there.

Here’s what he looked like when we were here last month.

Juanita wanted to see more of the desert landscape.  With clouds closing in and the wind picking up we headed out to Split Mountain.

With all its layers of sandstone and mudstone it was sure to satisfy her curiosity.

There is an upheaval along the road.

The correct term is an ’anticline’.  It’s a unique formation in our desert.

It was decided to head home a day early to avoid more bad weather expected.  Once we drove up the hill the heavy winds turned into heavy rain!  The rain stayed with us all the way home.

February 12, 2023

Brakes - for the Toad

When we first bought Rufus, over a decade ago, we knew there would times we would want the Jeep to be towed.  Our 1997 Jeep TJ can be towed 4-down with both front and rear differentials placed in neutral.

We tried a Brake Buddy that sat on the floor and manually push the brake pedal when the RV brakes were applied.  But with the short wheelbase of the Jeep TJ and it’s stiff suspension, it would quickly become dislodged.  This made our first trip to the Cactus League Games a bit exciting ...

I then installed a unit from SMI called the Stay-In-Play.  It is permanently mounted and activated by simple toggle switch providing power to the vacuum unit and a deceleration sensor.

But alas it finally failed, as we discovered on our last trip to Borrego coming down from Ranchita!  SMI was purchased by Demco and makes a similar unit.

Certainly the new manual has added color to the graphics and the schematic.  A nice touch.

I started with the morning sun’s glare, even though I thought this might be an easy exchange if I could reuse the old tubing and wires.  

That was not so.  I broke the original SMI desecration sensor and switch while removing the seat.  Then I noticed the Demco unit is physically larger than the SMI unit.  But it still fits nicely under the seat.

The diode block on the left provides brake light indication to the unit and prevents feedback

When doing a test fit I discovered the vacuum tubing was a different diameter, ARG!

It finally all came together in the long shadows of the evening.

We will be hosting a birthday gathering tomorrow for Fran’s sister.  Fran will be making a Macadamia Nut cake from the last harvest of this season.


With the rain and a few storms have kept us inside, often at the puzzle table.

This is puzzle of our neighborhood.  The missing house shaped piece is centered around our home.
Fran likes to do the borders first, while I tend to work toward the border
Grandson is a big Mandalorian fan.  This is 'family' puzzle with large and small pieces.
Note the upper left corner is twice the size of the upper left.

Storm damage can be found all along the beaches.  Here’s a photo news article showing the beating the OB Pier experienced, the entire article is at NBC7.

OB Pier Jan 2023
The pier is closed ‘indefinitely’.  Which means WOW Cafe is closed ‘indefinitely’, along with my favorite fish tacos ….

Mission Beach also took a hit when the Sea Wall was breached.  A News8 YouTube video can be seen HERE.

Mission Beach Jan 2023
I am happy to report the Boardwalk was quickly restored and the Royal Rooster was undamaged … Fran’s favorite fish tacos.