Wednesday, November 25, 2015


Well, we did it.

We put ourselves on the Jojoba wait list for an opportunity to buy a membership in the co-op. We have read all the paperwork, bylaws, and history of the place, and think we understand how it all works. You do not buy a deeded lot. You buy a membership that allows you to "adopt" a lot as your own. There is a complex, but straightforward system for adopting a lot. All lots have the same nominal value, but some are more desirable than others.

We are #20 on the wait list. When a lot becomes available, it is first offered to current members. If they want to move from the lot they are on, they have ten days to put themselves on a list. Whoever has been there the longest gets the lot, their current lot goes up for "adoption," and the process is repeated.  If none of the current members want to move to a lot, it is offered to the wait list people one at a time, until it is claimed. If you are on the wait list, you can pass three times, for any reason, without losing your place on the list. But after passing three times, you are put on the bottom of the list and are not called for at least 30 days. If you want to remove your name from the wait list, the total cost is a $100 administration fee. 

We are told there are some people who are on the list, but not quite ready to buy in, for either personal or financial reasons. In fact, we are not in a big hurry either. We are told there is usually more turn over in spring. In the last few years, many of the founding members have been leaving as they are getting into their 80's and 90's. Jojoba is not an assisted-living community. In fact, as part of the purchase contract, a buyer agrees that when they reach a point where they are no longer physically able to care for themselves and mentally competent, other living arrangements must be made. The members do help each other a great deal, but all understand they cannot stay  if they become infirm. It seems that spring is a time to move on. Someone told me that 36 lots have turned over this year. 

When we started on this adventure, I never thought I would want to have another "permanent" home base. One of the things I was trying to get away from was the need to return to, and support, a sticks and bricks house. 

Many full time RVers go back to the same winter park year after year. But as we have reviewed our options for the winter, we find we are not drawn to the wall-to-wall RV parks in Arizona. Nor are we attracted to boondocking out in the desert for months on end. We are not golfers, and really don't want to pay for the maintenance of a golf course. 

There are many features that attract us to Jojoba Hills. One of the biggest draw for me is that it is a reasonable distance to San Diego, where our daughter and grandsons live. Close enough that we will be able to drive down for a holiday, special event, or even just a weekend. This winter we are spending a month in San Diego at the Mission Bay RV park. It is an expensive parking lot, but it is close to where they live. We will be back on the road in January. 

When we do get a lot at Jojoba, it does not in any way mean we will stop our travels. We plan on spending some of the winter months here, and going on the road for the rest of the year. We still have so many places to see, but the thought of a home base is good too. 

 Especially one we don't have to maintain or pay taxes on!

Where do you spend your winters?

[From Craig]  You know those knitted caps that people wear in winter?  In Wisconsin and elsewhere, we called them "stocking caps" even though we never saw stockings made out of similar material.  I'm currently reading a book that has people wearing "toboggans" on their heads, which for me leads to pretty fun images but is meant to designate the same kind of headwear.  Also one of our grandchildrens' au pairs was Canadian and called the same kind of cap a "tuque" which she pronounced "tewk".  Other names for similar caps around the world are "knit caps" and "watch caps".  Other terms for such caps are "beanies" and "skull caps", but in my experience these terms are also used to describe the Jewish yarmulke or kippah.  Do you suppose we have enough names for such caps? :-)

Monday, November 16, 2015

Alive and very well at Jojoba Hills

Our days have been passing quite quickly here at Jojoba Hills. We have not really "done" much, but I at least have not been bored for a moment.

Almost every morning I have gone over to the Friendship Hall where the big beautiful pool is, and first walked for a mile or two on one of the treadmills in the exercise room, while watching the morning news, then joined a half dozen or so others in the pool to do 40 minutes of easy water exercises. 

They play a recorded routine. The exercises are suitable for older bodies, but give a great relaxing stretch and a complete series of joint movements. After the pool time, we gather in the hot tub for a bit. Then I use the showers and dress for the day.

I get back to the rig about 10:45, by which time Craig has finished his breakfast and morning routines. On a couple of days I have found him just getting up, and on a couple of others he was outside washing windows. This has been a very easy-going time!

Temecula is about 14 miles away, and we have gone there several times to shop. We also went to an afternoon movie one day, and out for an excellent gourmet pizza on another. 

One of the things I brought along on this adventure was my sewing machine. Just about the only thing I sew is pajamas for Craig. It is hard to believe it has been three years since I made him three new pair while he was working on repairs and painting the high, dangerous places outside our dining room windows. I set up my machine on the table so I could keep an eye on him.  

Well, it is time to make him some more. He went with me to the fabric store and picked out three lengths of nice 100% cotton. Of course they are quite colorful! 

I have taken advantage of the huge sewing room open to all here at Jojoba Hills. 

Room for all, they made space for me to work too!

My back no longer is happy about standing over a work table for hours on end, so I have gone over on three different days, cutting out one pair each time. The ladies who have their machines there and were working on a variety of projects were very welcoming and friendly. There is a sewing machine that anyone can use, or if I had wanted to bring in my own,  there was a space for it. I have been doing the sewing in the Alfa. I find it quite easy to set up, and put away, so I can work for a few hours whenever I wish.

I'm in no great rush to get these finished, since although he picked out the fabric, the overall project is meant to be a Christmas present. 

Temecula, CA, the nearest town, has a number of large chain groceries, including Albertson's and Ralph's, plus a Trader Joe's, Sprouts, Fresh and Easy, and Walmart.

We were happy to be able to buy some end-of-season heirloom tomatoes this week for one last go at our favorite meal of just tomatoes, cheese, lots of very fresh basil, and warm baked french bread, with a balsamic-and-caper dressing. A laptop and a glass of white wine is all that is needed for a super supper.  :-)

Recently I saw a video about making perfect poached eggs by wrapping them in plastic before lowering them into boiling water:
1. drape plastic wrap like a liner in a cup or ramekin, 
2. put a little oil in the plastic wrap, 
3. crack egg into plastic, 
4. tie off, and
5. boil about five minutes.

I have wanted to try it, so when we had a lazy Sunday last week I did.

It worked great, far less stressful than trying to poach them in just water the way I had learned in the past.  I topped a toasted English muffin with some ham, chopped spinach, and Hollandaise sauce from a can, for a homemade Eggs Benedict.

Not exactly your typical camping breakfast!

Let's see.  What else have we been up to?

Craig helped our friend Judy put together a new picnic table. Emma watched, and I took pictures. She treated us to a hamburger cookout the next day.

We also drove down to Escondido to see our grandson Dylan play in a San Diego Youth Symphony concert. It was a treat to be able to do a "family" thing.

Other than that we've just been pretty lazy, reading and watching TV. There are tons of things to do here at Jojoba, but since we are just visitors at this time, I don't want to start anything. We are thinking about getting on the waiting list for a membership, and if we do I am sure to join many groups next time we are here.

I will end this post with a glimpse at a very nice sunset. 

Until next time!

Thursday, November 5, 2015


It has been more than a week since I did a post. Craig wrote the last one, and I have just been a bit burned out and not feeling like I had much to say. I had wanted to head northwest when we left Bullhead City, and spend a couple of week in the southern Sierra Mountains, but being late October the weather wasn't looking promising. Several of the parks I called were closing in a few days, or at the least turning off the water supply. So we turned toward Southern California instead. I knew there were two discount parks in Desert Hot Springs, one of which we had been to a few years ago. Unfortunately I choose the other one because it looked like we could get a discount for five nights, unlike the other one's offer of only two.

Desert Springs RV Spa and Resort is not terrible, but it was not great either. I felt "bait and switched" when we were told we could not use the Passport America discount on a 50 amp site. In the PA book it indicated 50 amp was available, and since it was still hot there I thought we might need 50 amp for the air conditioners. Anyway the 30 amp site we were given was very tight and in the midst of some "older" park models. I paid for one night and did some checking around for other options.

Our month reservation in San Diego doesn't start until November 23rd. I guess we could have called and tried to get a spot there for some time earlier, but I consider their daily rate outrageously expensive. I called a couple of other San Diego parks, but all were booked for all or part of the time we wanted.

Then I checked the calendar and realized the number of days we needed was within the maximum allowed annual "visitor" stay at my favorite place, Jojoba Hills SKP park. We were there in April of 2014 and really liked it.

IMO Best Pool in the country!
It is a cooperative where individual Escapee members own the lots in the park. If they are not there, they can put their lot into a rental pool and other Escapee members can rent them for up to 28 days a year at a very reasonable rate.  There are two small caveats: no advanced reservations can be made, and if the owner returns while a visitor is on his lot, the visitor has to move to another space. There is also a very sizable dry camp area, so if no spots are open there is always room to park there for a few days. 

Local resident
So, we have been at Jojoba for eight days already, and will stay until the 23rd. Although we are not yet ready to settle down again, nor buy into and call one park "home", the feeling of being set for the next 25 days, in a wonderful spot at the Jojoba SKP park in Aguanga California, is very nice. We are strongly considering getting on the waiting list for a lot here, so this time is also a short test period. Plus, I feel I need a few quiet weeks after all the travel we have done this year, before a month or so of "family time."

We did have one nice upside to our time here. Judy, our blog friend from "Travels with Emma", arrived to move onto her new lot on the same day as we got here. We enjoyed seeing her again and hope to spend some more time together before we have to move on.

I expect I'll be posting again soon to tell you about what I have been doing to keep busy this month.  

A  beautiful evening at Jojoba Hills