31 December 2011

New Year’s Resolutions ???

When I was younger, I discovered early on I rarely had the 'willpower' to keep the resolve necessary to follow through with a resolution .... This is not a New Year's resolution! It's past time I quit smoking!

This is something I have to do, have wanted to do, and have been unsuccessful accomplishing in years past. In the days and weeks to come I will be sharing my thoughts while I embark on this process....

What motivations do I have to quit?
1. General health reasons, more energy.
2. My food will taste better and my nose will smell better
3. The cost of supporting 'two' smokers is prohibitive… so quitting will save money for other necessary things…

How will I quit? Persistence and perseverance.
1. I will use a support group like ...  the arizona smokers help line .
2. And ... I will use nicotine patches and/or maybe try hypnosis
3. Continue to have the desire to succeed this time…

Would I try a prescription medication to assist me in the quitting process? You bet I would!

What triggers my nicotine desire?
1. When I first get up in the morning and the first cup of coffee
2. Working at my computer, outside the house, to have something in my hands...
3. Everyday stresses, underemployed, unpaid bills …
           
            Doesn't matter ..... old habits die hard.

How will begin this process?
1. I will clean the house, myself and roommate of smoke smelling clothes, and nicotine…
2. I will recognize the triggers and do something else to alleviate the cravings.
3. I will use the support group when I’m feeling anxious and stressed…
4. I will stop buying cigarettes on/before or by January 6, 2012 (for both of us)

What are my goals?
1. I will be smoke free in 2012
2. Save money for other things
3. Exercise more and eventually loose the 20+ pounds I’ve put on the last year.
4. I will see an improvement in my overall health.

I can use all the support and encouragement you can give me.
So please post a comment and encourage me to succeed in this endeavor.

27 December 2011

Holbert Trail

Yesterday was such a wonderful day, I decided to get out and revisit some old haunts in South Mountain Park. South Mountain Park is the largest 'municipally' owned park in the United States. It boasts more than 17, 000 acres of rugged Sonoran Desert. Trails are multi-use, shared for hiking, horse back riding, and mountain biking.

This trail is one I've been on many times it leads to a secluded box canyon ... It's a relatively easy trail to walk, though riding Traveler through here would have been more fun... I wouldn't have been able to capture these shots.

Along the short trail into the canyon there are many interesting rock formations.. I have fond memories of leading many horse back riders through this area into the canyon for a private party or a cowboy cookout.

The canyon is deserted today... though I would not have been surprised to see 'cowboys' from the nearby stables setting up for an evening event.
                                                                                                                                                         

24 December 2011

A 'wee' frost this morning

It's hard to believe the desert gets frost...it's really not so uncommon this time of the year. The sun was just beginning to peek over the mountain when I went to feed Traveler this morning.
I don't usually get to see what his area looks like mornings this time of year, mostly it's still dark when I'm there to feed him. I had the fleeting thought I need to drag out his blanket and have it ready though the local weather forecasters are predicting a warm up for next week, so, chances are I won't need to blanket him, not for a few more days anyway.
There's definitely a chill in the air ...and some say it never gets cold here.. yeah, well it does, but not like some other parts of the nation. One adjusts and this time of the year, desert dwellers put on more layers because we know, it's going to warm up as the sun climbs higher in the sky. By the time I go back to feed and rake this afternoon, I'll be in shirtsleeves. It's going to be a nice day.
.

15 December 2011

Skywatch Friday ... Season 5 ... Episode 23

Yesterday's sunset...


For amazing skies from all over the world .... click here.
A very special thanks to the Sky Watch team for hosting each week.
Happy skywatching weekend everyone.

13 December 2011

....and was it snow?


                                                    Raindrops through the windshield...


                                                    made for some interesting shots....

08 December 2011

Skywatch Friday, Season 5 ... Episode 22

The other afternoon, I went into South Mountain Park searching interesting shots for this week's  Skywatch Friday . South Mountain Park, is the largest 'municipally' owned park in the United States and access is right outside my back door.

The wind was chill and blowing a good clipper out of the southwest in advance of another storm front.
Of the twenty or more shots ... these were the best.... Alas, I couldn't steady the camera and my hands nearly froze. Well ... all in all ... I think these capture what was to come later in the evening... rain and snow in the higher elevations. Winter is coming.

Happy skywatching weekend everyone! As always, special thanks to the Skywatch Team for hosting awesome skies from all over the globe each week.

01 December 2011

Skywatch Friday Season 5 ... Episode 21

Another storm is brewing to our northwest. It's expected to be a stormy weekend around Arizona. These shots were taken this morning as the overnight clouds began their march from the southwest to the northeast.
The sun had not yet crested South Mountain and made for some interesting shots looking west (as above)
again to the west....
and finally to the southwest ...

Many thanks to the Skywatch team for hosting each week... click here to visit Skywatch Friday and see incredible skies from all over the world...

Down Here

I appreciate the guest post, Lindsay Valdez
It took me a while to adjust to everything when I moved down here to Georgia – when I tell people where I live they usually just hear “Atlanta” but I hear “a small town outside of Atlanta nowhere near civilization” which feels pretty different when you’re actually living it, you know? I just have never been so out in the country and I’m having to get used to all this space, things like roosters crowing in the morning and using Hughesnet satellite internet. I came from New York so I can’t really imagine a bigger life change all at once but it’s for my new job which I’m really loving so I guess that helps make up for all the things I’m missing. I’ve got some family in Alabama, too, so it’s going to be nice to have somewhere to go for Thanksgiving and stuff since up in NYC I’ve never really been close to any relatives. I Guess I’m going to adjust to life here in Georgia but I can’t promise it will be easy!

18 November 2011

Skywatch Friday, Season 5 Episode 19

Looking back on the week past ... I've found myself without a whole lot of time on my hands for taking photos. It's been an awesomely busy week at work. I'm gonna love the paycheck in spite of the exhaustion.
I'm thankful for my archives for this week. These two shots were taken a few minutes apart a couple of weeks ago, just after a storm blew thru. How fast the skies do change.
Many thanks to the Skywatch Team for hosting each week. Take some time to preview skies from all over the world. Leave a comment, too, you're certain to make new friends along the way. Have an excellent Skywatch weekend all!

11 November 2011

Skywatch Friday, Season 5, Episode 18

I was hanging out in our truck yard this morning waiting to see if I'd get dispatched for work. These sky shots captured my attention as the sun tried desperately to sneak between the clouds.
The sun never did sneak between the clouds as a cold front approaches the 'valley of the sun' for the coming weekend.
Many thanks to the Skywatch team who hosts each week. To see other fabulous skies from all over the world ... please click here .

11.11.11 .... A day to remember and say thank you's to all our Veterans who fight and fought for our many freedoms. Thank you all.

07 November 2011

About heat...(when it's chilly)

Around 4:00 AM, I switched to the heat cycle on the now 'off' AC unit to take the chill out of the trailer... It's a reverse cycle unit... EW! What is that smell? Something is/was smoldering maybe burning, and then all of a sudden the smoke alarm went off. SHUT DOWN! Disabled the smoke alarm to silence that awful noise and looked at the clock.

Fortunately, there was no fire, and I didn't see any smoke ... but something definitely burned up inside the unit. Whatever was singed, fried, or burned smelled awful.

Couldn't call maintenance that early, they wouldn't have appreciated my (Houston we have problem, right now!!) wake up call. I'm waiting for the repair guy to come and have a look see at what's going on with it...

For the time being, the rain has stopped and the sun has come out. I expect we're going to have some more rain before it's completely over, tho.  I've opened the drapes to let in the sunlight. The kitty's have found sunny places to catnap. Curmudge is complaining he's cold ... for him being cold is a normal thing ..goes with the disease, I suppose.

I'll keep y'all posted on the repair thing... update soon.

Rainy Monday


... and here I was... all geared up and ready to work after a short week last week. I'm on my way out the door (it's still 'dark thirty') and I get a text message (love my new phone for this reason, good or bad) telling me the job has cancelled and to stay home, dry and warm.

And why would I not love to have another day off?  Couple of things we can all agree on .... the dollars working brings home to pay bills, buy food, and countless other necessities. I'd rather be working.

It's finally cooled off in Phoenix after an excessively long hot summer season. But, the cool down is not good for the kind of work I do. Jobs, paving/asphalt, require a certain ambient temperature. Everything slows down, the days get shorter, jobs start later, or like this morning (because it was raining) cancel ...
Don't get me wrong, I love this time of year! So many things I can do. I look forward to getting Traveler saddled and working on the mountain trails. Lord knows we both need the exercise without getting overheated  and exhausted.
I look forward to dragging out 'cooler weather gear', sweaters, sweat-shirts, long sleeved work shirts, and light jackets... Yard work gets done at a reasonable hour without disturbing neighbors. My indoor plants get outside for much needed fresh air, they like this. I can open the windows and I can finally shut off the air conditioning! Woohoo!

The cats like this weather too, and have a 'zoomfest' each morning and evening. I'll save this for another post when I can catch them in the act...

27 October 2011

Skywatch Friday, Season 5, Episode 16

Phoenix was experiencing some wacky weather the other afternoon as I went out to feed Traveler.
This shot above was to the west....
This shot to the north....
And finally... rain just to the east, but not a drop at the house until much much later in the evening....

Special thanks to the Skywatch team who hosts awesome skies from all over the world each week. 

22 October 2011

Pasture day

Traveler needs the exercise, and so did I. I had to run for the camera after I turned him out. I wish I knew how to use the video on my camera, I haven't yet mastered that art.

He bucked and took off at a fast pace. He doesn't canter or lope, he 'flat' walks as Missouri Fox Trotters are born doing.



He stopped and rolled ... then cruised the pasture again ... he's really fun to watch.  There were some joggers along the street and he had to follow them along the fence line, nosy horse that he is.. then he snorted and took off again. Around and around we went for may minutes..

In this last shot, the neighbors dogs had been let out for their morning business and Traveler stopped to have a look at what they were doing...

15 October 2011

Signs of the Season ... Halloween

My street is showing signs the seasons are changing… neighbors have begun to decorate for Halloween.. These shots are my neighbors place next door... (and I did ask permission before I decided to write this post...)


I don't know if I'll have the little ghosts, gremlin's, ghouls and goblins sneaking warily up my walkway.... but if they do come knocking ... I'll certainly have treats on hand for them ...along with the requisite pennies for UNICEF cartons .... Oh! Do children still collect for UNICEF? You can imagine how out of touch I am, if I'm asking questions...


I'm not even certain what evening (the 30th or the 31st) they will be out and about...it's been so long since I've lived in a neighborhood that has children, I can't remember....someone care to tell me so I'm not caught unprepared?

Just a reminder, too... Daylight Savings ends on Sunday, October 30, this year.

Experimenting

Over the next few weeks, I'm going to be experimenting with my page... making changes, redesigning, etc. I'd like to hear from those of you who visit. Your thoughts and ideas are welcome... so please leave a comment.
Looking forward to hearing from you.

06 October 2011

Skywatch Friday, Season 5 Episode13

It's that time again... hello friends and sky watcher's! This weeks pics feature a black and white cloud formation from a few weeks back just before the desert 'monsoon' season ended.
The shot below is color and was taken a few seconds later.
It's been another busy week in my world. Special thanks to the Skywatch Friday team for hosting each week. Take a few minutes to check out sky watcher's pics from all over the globe by clicking the link above. Happy sky-watching everyone!

23 September 2011

Skywatch Friday, Season 5, Week 11

Again it's been a really busy week. I pulled these shots from my archives...

Thanks to every one at Skywatch for hosting this meme every week. Apologies for being so late this week. I'll be visiting over the weekend .... so look for me.

13 September 2011

2:45AM

Happy birthday to one most special!
I can't find the baby pictures, the earliest ones...so I'll share what I have found.
Nursery school age 4
In his boat, I think it was the first one... He will tell me if I am wrong..
My brother's backyard ... a cookout I wasn't able to make it to...I think he was about fourteen or fifteen in this one..
Today my son is many years older than these shots. These are lasting memories.
Hope the day is special for you.

12 September 2011

Almost Full Moon


We were surrounded by storms and dust last night as the moon rose. I don't think we will see much of it tonight either.... there's a lot of blowing dust again, and rain in the air.

08 September 2011

Skywatch Friday, Season 5, Episode 9

It is September isn't it? It's been so darn hot in Phoenix ... it's hard to get out and shoot cool pics when it is so hot. I'm ready for cooler weather! So in keeping with the cooler weather arriving soon, hopefully, I pulled these late afternoon shots from my archives.


 As soon as the weather cools down, I can get my 'big guy' (aka Traveler's Grandson) working and we will be riding in the mountains featured in the shot below.


Ride on over to Skywatch Friday to view skies from all over the world. Many thanks to the Skywatch team for hosting every week.

06 September 2011

Update

I mentioned during my busy week last week ... my roommate Curmudge was in the hospital. He was released last night. I'm glad to say, he is doing well. Thanks for all the well wishes.

03 September 2011

My week in review ... Whew! Wow!


Hello September … fall is not too far away.
It’s been a really busy week!
I’m glad for the three day weekend. Labor Day ---

Sunday
1. Called into work … Yes, sir! I’ll take the hours. I'm there in thirty minutes.
2. Curmudge got up this afternoon, very late. His tongue, lips and face were ridiculously swollen. Time to go for help. Off to the Emergency Room we go. He's admitted and sent to ICU on a ventilator.
3. My sis is without power in Massachusetts after Irene makes her debut as a tropical storm.

Monday
1. Up really early, scheduled for early start at work. Construction trucking is like this, hours are irregular.  I"m so glad I'm not working at night like some of the crew is.
2. Curmudge still on ventilator in ICU. I talked to the nurse who told me he is alert, which is very good news. I’m way too hot and tired to go visit.
3. Traveler snorted at me... covered me in horsey snot.... I suppose he was none too happy that I hadn’t scooped the poo out of his pen early. Cleaned his pen and water barrel and gave him carrot treats, he forgives me.
4. My kitty's have missed me today. They are huddling for attention. I guess they're upset because Curmudge isn't here to keep them company while the cat nap the day away.

Tuesday
1. Up early again. An even earlier start than yesterday… We moved 1500 tons of aggregate from Scottsdale Airport back to our yard in South Phoenix. I thoroughly enjoyed the easy, steady as you go kind of stuff, today.
2. Curmudge is off the ventilator and alert, tho still in ICU. Stopped by to see him, and we had a short visit. He says he’ll be coming home tomorrow or Thursday …. I haven’t talked to the doctors so I don’t have a clue and have to go on his word. We’ve been here before.
3. Traveler is glad to see me, he needs fresh water again. The kitty’s are glad to see me too and hover around the front door as I try to get in (arms and hands overloaded with stuff that has to come inside) without them tripping me or escaping between my legs.

Wednesday
1. Excellent shots of the sunrise this morning. I will use them for Skywatch Friday this week.
2. I didn’t have to report for work until 730 and that was for a two hour safety meeting about substance abuse.  I spent the better part of the late morning and early afternoon with one of the other lady drivers. She is considering moving into ‘town’ from Apache Junction to be closer to work. I showed her where I keep Traveler (she has horses too), then we drove around the neighborhood. I showed her where I live.  Then we stopped for a ‘Subway’ Sandwich.
3. Curmudge is still in the ICU, alert and chomping at the bit to come home again. They’re not ready to release him just yet.
4. Animals all good, happy and content. I’m tired.
5. Yay! Power is restored to my sis's neighborhood! I've missed our evening chats this week.


Thursday
1. Up early … not scheduled for work, going to show up and see if they can find something for me to do. Well? It ended up being an eleven hour day! I can’t complain much, I want the hours, though I am really tired. Needed to get errands done, not today, maybe tomorrow? Traveler is running low on feed, kitty’s too, the cupboards are bare at home.
2. Curmudge says don’t come by, he knows I’m tired. He’s still in the ICU.
3. Hoping for a later start for work tomorrow, maybe sleep in an extra hour? Not happening! Scheduled very early…
4. I did get my Skywatch Friday pics posted, tho.

Friday 
1. Yup, early out of the yard, an hour drive to load asphalt. Ew! I’m not a fan of asphalt, it’s horribly messy, and this stuff is 'rubberized' so it sticks worse than the ordinary asphalt does, never mind that it does not come out of clothes. This is the job and it pays the bills. First load on, headed for the dump site and pulled over  by the friendly DPS officer in Gold Canyon, AZ on US 60 for a level 2 DOT inspection. I’m so glad this company has nice equipment, just a minor write up for window washer fluid. I didn’t have any.  Last load of the day, I’m under the silo getting loaded and I’m watching the product roll off the sides of my truck. Oh, yes. I’m positioned right under the silo where I should be. Heeeheee, the guy making the mix isn’t paying attention and overloads me. I had to go ‘pinch off’ 5 tons of hot, hot material. Thankfully, I had the assistance of two other drivers for this feat, otherwise I might still be trying to get it right. Load off and the bossman aka owner sees the material isn’t quite all out of my dump. There might have been 50 pounds in the bed of the dump. We head to the yard for a more thorough clean out (in the excessive heat). I spent an hour getting the clean out done and was satisfied, I'd be good to go again on Tuesday morning. The bed of my dump is spanking clean now.
2. It’s time to head over and take care of Traveler.
3. I’m done in and I want a beer.
4. The errands I haven’t been able to get done this week will wait until  tomorrow morning ..... because I'm going to kick my feet up and have that beer! I've earned it.


Saturday
1. I actually slept in this morning. Errands that must be done today! I picked up feed for Traveler. I walked around in circles in the grocery store … I had a list. Funny thing, I know this grocery store inside out and backwards… I haven’t got a clue why I did the circles thing. Home again, groceries away.
2. Collect up some things to take to Curmudge who has been moved out of ICU and into another room. I don’t know when he’s coming home…he says, maybe tomorrow, maybe not until Monday. He’s alert. There are a lot of staff wandering in and out of his room, he seems to be confused about all the different comments and suppositions that he can hear being made. I think they're scratching their heads too. … he's in a teaching hospital, so a lot of different staff is not unusual. I expect it’s because it’s a holiday weekend and the usual staff is off. I spent a couple of hours with him and came home to write this …
3.  I sort of semi-burned the potatoes I was cooking for potato salad later. They’re salvageable anyway. I’ve invited a few friends for ribs, potato salad and coleslaw later on. It’s still hot outside. I'll have to get my mister cleaned out and running for us to be able to sit outside with any kind of comfort until the sun goes down.

Maybe a little cooler later on, chance of a thunderstorm? I‘d rather some rain than this excessive heat and dust storms. We’ve had more than eleven days of excessive heat warnings. August turns out to be the hottest month on the all time records for the Phoenix Metro area.

I know it’s September. My favorite time of the year for a few reasons. My son was born in September and so was I, but it’s not just that. The fall seasons comes, the air starts to dry out mornings become crisper. The early clouds will start to look colder. I wish I was back east where I could take a drive and see the fall colors… ahhhh the memories.

I’ve had a good week, albeit busier than I’ve been used to. I didn’t expect to jump into this job with both feet, but I’ll take it…. It’s good to be working again!

01 September 2011

Skywatch Friday, Season 5 Episode 8

I was out early this morning on my way to feed Traveler (my horse) and then to an early 'safety' meeting at my new job.

What a glorious day it will be!

And... the lingering clouds will burn off as the sun climbs higher in the sky.


Have a great day! Thanks to our friends at Skywatch Fridays for making this happen for us. Please stop by Skywatch Fridays to see skies from all over the world.

26 August 2011

NASCAR Fans! PIR gets a face lift!

Phoenix International Raceway, aka PIR, is undergoing face lift! This is not news to the thousands of fans who come out to the races each year when NASCAR comes to town. It's a ghost town out there right now except for the construction crews putting the finishing touches down.  I shot these shots, rather hurriedly I must admit, while I was waiting for a truck before me to finish unloading....

The track and infield have been 'remodeled' (if you will... for lack of a better term). The old track surface has been removed, recycled, and a new surface is down. I"m told, this one mile oval track has had some modifications. It is my understanding the pit area has been moved slightly to allow for a wider track between the pits and the stands. Is this for more three-wide racing?

In this mirror shot I was waiting to be signaled back to the paving machine to dump my load.

The area we were working in is along the back stretch wall between turns two and three. This asphalt walkway will allow fans have views of the track while they are walking to their seats from the parking lots.
Rumor has it (and this is rumor) some of the dirt parking areas will be paved as well. I guess we'll have to wait until November to see the final results. I'm looking forward to seeing the finished product. How about you?

For ticket information and other PIR news, go to www.phoenixraceway.com .


Skywatch Friday, Season 5 Episode 7

I'm sorry I'm a little late getting this posted this week.. I started a new job and have been consumed with it.


I just took these pics outside my door... I heard a clap of thunder and thought? What the heck is it going to storm? Grabbed the camera and out the door I went.
and then.... another clap of thunder...

The cloud moved and the rains came.... short storm... just enough to wet the ground and mess up the car I washed last night.

Ah well....Happy sky watching everyone! Scoot on over to Skywatch Fridays and check out cool pics from all over the globe.


18 August 2011

Skywatch Friday, Season 5 Episode 6

Today's post is dedicated to Klaus Peter who was an active participant, supporter, and owner/maintainer of Skywatch.

I am new to Skywatch Fridays and can not begin to imagine how much everyone will miss Klaus. Head on over to Skywatch Friday to see pictures from allover the world.

17 August 2011

The saga of the power supply cable

Last night I was chatting with my sis when all of a sudden, I was off line. Had nothing. When I looked at the router I didn't have a power light... Upon further investigation, I discovered one of my four legged furies... had chewed through the power supply cord for my router. Panic!
After the discovery and a few minutes of quick rerouting I was back on line. Below is a shot of the suspect culprit snoozing peacefully as if she'd done nothing incredibly wrong! NILLY!

The problem with the quick rerouting was the wiring was exposed and if Nilly so decided, she would she would have at these cables too and I would be down for who knows how long... Therein lies the reason for rearranging the office again. Below is the shot from early this morning before I rearranged ....Sorry the desk looks such a mess, I'm not usually this untidy!

My office area is small! We have two computers. At one time I had them side by side as I do now and had them cabled directly from the router. I wasn't very happy with the setup and changed the room around. I have a wireless adapter so if I want .. I can move one computer to a different area of the house and still have internet service on both machines.

Well, long story short... I've had to rearrange again and put things back as they were originally. Because I now lack power supply for the router I can only have one computer running at a time. I'm kinda bummed, but we'll live through it.

Above is the finished project, I think? For now it's workable.