19 December 2012

Hot Cocoa Day

I've always loved hot cocoa. Today seems to be a day for it even though the sun is shining brightly and there's no snow on the ground ... it's definitely a chilly day in the desert.

When I was a child, both Grandmother's and Mum  made it with milk and bits of shaved 'bitter' chocolate, melted slowly in a sauce pan. Sometimes there were miniature marshmallows to add ... other times whipped creme or a dab of marshmallow fluff. Always a great warm up after playing in the snow.

It rarely gets bitterly cold out here in the desert, but after summers that tend to be too warm for many months, when winter does arrive (usually with little notice) chilly weather takes some adjusting to.  I think it's finally arrived, winter that is..

I was scheduled to leave the yard at 700 AM and as usual I was early. The driver's room was already crowded with other drivers trying to get warm by the tiny space heater, so I opted to stand outside after I picked up my dispatch information. Just before I was ready to leave the yard, my job was cancelled (due to last night's cold front and little bit of rain that came thru). I decided early that since I was already cold and my truck hadn't even been started for the day, I'd take the day off, let some of the other drivers hang out and hope for some work if dispatch could find it for them, and come home to do whatever...

Whatever consists of whatever I feel like doing ... except sleeping.. if I sleep/nap today, I won't sleep tonight... I rarely take a day off, and then if I do it's because I'm overtired or not feeling well, neither of those scenarios existed this morning, I was cold to the bone.

My feet are cold, and when my feet are cold, I'm cold..I went searching for my heating pad thinking that would be a good way to warm my feet while I'm sitting at my computer..well, that suffices if I sit still and I don't seem to be able to do that..

Then I thought? Hot cocoa! Something to warm the bones all the way down to my toes...

Yummmmm, the hot cocoa did the trick, I'm warm and so are my toes, for the time being.

It's a hot cocoa day.

01 September 2012


New England here I come!
The final reservations have been made and I've received confirmations via email.

The last few years, I've missed having family and old friends (whose lives are vastly different than mine) closer than 2800 miles away. Yes, I admit to being homesick, too.

I left New England the summer of 1979 without saying 'goodbye'.  Then I could only think of escape, as fast as I could get away.

Perhaps, in retrospect, the leaving in 1979 (without goodbyes) was because I knew then in my heart of hearts, I would be going back one day for good. In 1979, I took flight to central Florida where I lived for 18 years.

In 1997, when I relocated to the desert southwest, I really thought it would be a good place to find what I thought I'd been missing?  The original plan was to get established and relocate to the cooler climes of northern AZ, we just never got there. Sadly, what I've been missing .... isn't here in the desert southwest at all, it's 'home' in New England!

As a now retired 'over the road' truck driver, I crisscrossed the United States more than a few times. More often than not... not able to stop to enjoy those awesomely beautiful surroundings I passed through. Nothing beats New England, and I'd never admit to being from somewhere else.

02 August 2012

Yes I am!

You're an individual, Virgo, but sometimes it's hard for you to suppress your uniqueness in order to get the job done. It may not be you. The problem may be your job. If you're feeling like you don't have enough fun in your life or you aren't using the full potential of your creativity, this might be a good time to make a change - a big change. You're ready to take on new challenges.

24 June 2012

Who said…

Choosing a cellular service was easy…
Yesterday, I needed to reach my bank by phone to change something I couldn't do on line and I couldn't get a signal to make the call… off to the store where the service and phones are sold. Apparently, my phone needed to be 'refreshed'. That done, I had an extra bar of signal 'in store' and when I walked outside to my car, it went away…

I was soooooo frustrated… I went shopping! I need a phone and service that is going to work at my desk inside my house, will not drop calls if I'm talking with a friend, and a service that will work pretty much anywhere I go during the course of my work (including nationwide). I'd already  been shopping alternative services and cost comparisons the last couple of weeks.

I've got this thing with ‘contract’ services… There's no way I want to commit to a two year plan right off the bat when I don't know if I’m even going to like the chosen(?) service to begin with. There's no turning back once you've jumped in with both feet. Early termination fees are ridiculous.

 A year ago, I chose a service and a smartphone (though, not the phone I wanted) which I thought would provide me with unlimited use; voice, text and data (included) for around $60.00 a month and no contract (no contract being the key, here)… The service worked well in some areas, but not well at home where I use it most. The phone and signal strength wouldn't cooperate!

Apparently, the area I live in has limited in signal strength (poor at best) for this particular company even though they have partnered with another 'bigger' company for services… 'Nuf said about a phone that doesn't cooperate and a service that works intermittently. I wasn't a happy camper.

I'd used 'pay as you go' and 'prepaid' too, with some success. But years ago, those 'prepaid and pay as you go' services were limited… what I want an need has changed over the years and finally I'm able to do the 'no contract thing' and prepay for service in advance on line with my debit or credit card, and have a month of unlimited service without worrying about '½ or ¼ minute' charges, roaming charges, different priced day or night calling … all that good stuff. Yay! Woohoo! Oh, and yes, the new phone (actually, a newer version of the phone I'd originally wanted a year ago) has better signal service where I live compared to what I had with the other service.

Long story short, I bought the phone I'd originally wanted a year ago, and found a prepaid monthly plan that will do what I need it to do, basically voice and text, and data when it's needed. So far so good, signal is better than the other, and I have an unlimited plan for $10.00 less a month and no contract.

I like that I have 14 days to return the phone if the service doesn't perform to my expectations and since there's no contract, there's no early termination fee if I decide the service doesn't perform.  There is this little niggling thing ... though the cost of the phone can be refunded under this 14 day return policy, the money I've put toward the service can not be refunded. Changing services is not cheap, the cost of a smartphone is relative, if that's what you really need. Upgrading can be frustrating especially, if you aren't sure exactly what you want or need…

So my recommendation .. do you're homework before you buy. Know what you want and what you will need. Compare plans, shop different services, and choose the one which will fit your needs.

03 June 2012

Ahhhhhh, Sunday Morning

This seems like a good time to begin a 'silly' post. Normally, I wouldn't write a post about what I do on Sunday mornings. As is normal, I'm up early and have a couple of things to do away from the house.

'Sleeping in' isn't an option around here. I don't have children, but I do have animals to feed. The kitty's have been fed, their litter boxes scooped and tidied... Traveler is probably waiting patiently for his morning feed and fresh water. He isn't kept here where I live, so I have to drive to feed him.

Our driveway is small and tight. We can't park side by side, front to back is the only way ... we don't (under any circumstances) leave our vehicles on the street... they might get towed away... My roommate came in late and didn't leave his keys out (so I would be able to move his vehicle with out disturbing him), so I'm pondering intruding on his sleep, albeit reluctantly ...

I have the weekly 'barn' chores ... then off to the grocery... you see I'm 'on call' for work tonight. I'll need to nap the latter part of the day away, just in case of a 'new driver' didn't check dispatch last night to learn he is scheduled for 1900 hours tonight. I'm also scheduled for 0542 on Monday morning, but if I have to go in @ 1900 tonight, they'll cover my 0542 in the morning with another driver. Can't be in two places at once...

29 May 2012

History repeats or just everyday goings on?

Curmudge and I moved into this place on December 28, 2010. New Year's weekend the plumbing clogged (from front to back eventually) and no one to make the problem 'go away' over that weekend. Plumber came on Tuesday after the holiday, unclogged the drains. He found the moving caps still inserted into the 'drain system', I guess he poked holes in them. I can't seem to remember what he told me, except that he felt reasonably sure it wouldn't happen again. This unit was set less than a month before we moved in, so I expected to have some issues in the beginning, but not plumbing. A year has passed, and so has Curmudge, and that bathroom has been unused for more than five months.

Two weeks ago, I found a new roommate and he moved in. Another holiday weekend is upon us. Arrrrrrrrgh! Come on, now, what is going on? That bathroom is clogged again! Huh? What's up with this? Clogged? I'm frustrated! Call, call, and call, and I've gotten no response from the management people who own this unit... there's a pager number for maintenance emergencies... I'd call this an emergency! Long 'holiday' weekend and the office is not open, not unexpected, but there should be someone 'on call'...this is not right!

I'm wondering now if the problem hasn't persisted for the entire year and a half I've lived here, if Curmudge just got tired of me harping for him to clean up his messes in there and just didn't tell me. He wasn't well at the end.

This shouldn't be! Who is/was supposed to be in charge this weekend for emergency maintenance issues with tenants? And why wasn't the emergency pager answered? And you ask why I didn't just call a plumber and pay for it 'out of pocket' and take it off the rent? Simple answer, no cash flow to do that...caught between a rock and hard place on the cash flow thing...

I'm kind of sour on the management team, anyway. There are 'on going' issues with this unit and the surrounding lot that have not been dealt with since Curmudge and I moved in here originally. Every month, I ask about the things that haven't been done in the last year and a half. It's an on going thing with me and them..and each month I feel like I get 'lip service' (aka excuses why or why they can't or haven't been able to take care of something).

Move? I'm under contract! Normally, I wouldn't consider breaking the contract, I don’t need the judgment against me. Under these circumstances, though, (plumbing issues, long weekends, and no response) …. I'm seriously considering breaking the contract. I need to live in a place that functions properly all the time, has maintenance people on call 24/7 (if needed)... I need to live in a place that doesn't cost me 'out of pocket' and/or have leaks which could ultimately lead to mold issues. I'm highly allergic to mold. Mold was the culprit that made me sick in 2009.

It's still too early to be knocking on doors to get assistance and results... I have to wait until normal business hours. I wasn't scheduled for work today ... could have gone in and hung out in the yard, but this needs dealing with, so I'll have to loose the day's pay to take care of it. This does not make me happy especially since it's a shortened pay week to begin with (we didn’t get paid for the holiday yesterday) and I'm still struggling to keep my head above water.

I'll update when I have answers ….

13 May 2012

Skywatch Friday Season #5, Episode 44

An unusual event for May in the desert. This storm blew in from the east and southeast bringing with it, wind, dust, and rain.

The shot below was taken looking to the west. A few minutes later there was no visibility at all.
Click here  to see awesome skies from all over the world. Happy Skywatching weekend all!

12 May 2012

I'm not too old

I'm not too old to be awed by things I've seen before. I'm not too old to learn new things. But I'm certainly having a problem (this morning) figuring out how to scan 'old' photos into my computer so I can post them here...

No details now... I'll figure it out and be back later with more.

22 April 2012

The heat is on!!

Yesterday, it was 103 outside my door. The first 100+ degree day of the season, broke the record ... but not the earliest 100 degree temp recorded which was set in  March 1988. 

It is the desert, it's Phoenix, AZ and it's mid-April. I didn't live here in 1988. I didn't move here until 1997. I think if I had lived here in 1988, I'd have left already for cooler climes... 

Don't get me wrong, I like warm, but I have a problem with excessive dry, hot dry, hotter, moderately humid hot, and dry hot for months on end... which is what happens here.

Would ... if I could leave the desert, tho kinda like the rugged, huge mountain ranges,  and yes, there is color! This time of year even with very little rainy weather over the winter, the cacti are blooming profusely.  The mulberry, acacia, mesquite, and palo verde are in bloom too, pollen abounds, it's just too dang hot too early!

Well, the heat's (earlier than usual) arrival in 2012 has me dreaming of escape to cooler climes, again. Nothing news worthy in this statement, I've said it often to my family. Need and want to be 'closer' to family living in the northeast, but definitely not on their doorsteps or backyards.  

Tranquil, peaceful, panoramic views …. awesome sunrises and sunsets, a ruggedness to the landscape, and trees. Farm life would suit me, definitely access to horse back riding (trail riding, not arena riding), gardens and yards.  Anyone know a place?

Ideally, I think, a low elevation somewhere between 700 and 1800 feet, average (fall, spring, and summer) daytime temps ranging from 45-85; nighttime temps averaging from freezing to the upper forty's...  I could live with occasional snow, too. Oh, there's more... less dust ... lawns and trees, (oaks, maples, elms, birch)... Humidity is okay in moderation ... definitely four seasons. 

Virginia, too expensive for my pocket book, and I'm not conservative enough. 

Central North Carolina? Nice, maybe a little too humid,  but definitely in the affordable range. Yup, closer to family, but I wonder... 

South Carolina, Georgia?  A tad too southern for this Yankee! 

Florida? Been there done that, about 18 years worth, about the same as AZ, but with excessive humidity all year round. Lack of decent paying work would be an issue. 

Missouri, ahhhh, the southwest part of the state would be awesome if it weren't for TORNADO'S and the lack of work. 

Oh yeah, I know I left out a whole bunch of states in between ... (big sigh) that, for one reason or another wouldn't suit me, and I've been through every state in the continental US except North Dakota ... and have yet to discover the magical place.

Tennessee? Perhaps,Tennessee has the magic I've been searching for. Yes, definitely east Tennessee, I've always had a soft spot for Tennessee. Though a bit more humid than I am accustomed to, I would adjust.  Perfect place, if work can be found... Tennessee is an affordable place to live, not quite close enough to the family in the northeast, but a viable option to the hot, hot desert summers. My grandchildren and other family would come to visit … yup, ideal.

14 April 2012

A rare rain event last night

This the aftermath as the sun began it's rise this morning as I was over feeding Traveler.

The wind has scuttled the clouds pushing them to the northeast.

Backing out of the shot a little, this is what the camera captured...it looks scary, though,

clearing to the west... the wind is gusting at 25 to 30 mph from the southwest.
A chilly day is expected for the 'Valley of the Sun' today...

24 March 2012

Skywatch Friday Season 5 ... Episode 37

Wild weather last week. I went to a company cookout on Saturday afternoon... the sky was threatening.

Sunday wasn't much better... as the rain slid thru erratically, sometimes verga, sometimes pouring, and sometimes big, big Garfield like 'spluts'.

.... and then there were times when it did this!

Have an awesome Skywatch weekend everyone!

18 March 2012

Bromelaids ... these are new to my collection

I was on a mission in Lowe's earlier and spotted these two plants.. I grabbed them for their colorful appearance, wishful thinking and hoping I wouldn't kill them. I'm not a gardener by any stretch of the imagination, either.
I know nothing about Bromelaids... I've seen plants similar to these growing out of the sides of trees.... and someone referred to them as Staghorns. Apparently, there are numerous varieties of Bromelaids, the most common being pineapple...

I'll keep you posted ...

08 March 2012

A fun home makeover with some crazy lighting fixtures

Guest post written by Cynthia Newton
The other weekend I was sick, so I actually had to be stuck in the house and that made me realize that my home was not reflective of my personal tastes. Then of course I started planning all of these different things that I wanted to do with my place. Instead, I decided to make a few changes to really modernize my lighting fixtures. After lots of thinking, I pinpointed them as being really old fashioned in comparison to the rest of my stuff.
I have this really old fashioned looking ceiling fan above my dining room table, so I thought that might be a good starting point. My online search for some modern lighting fixtures led me to some info on sears vinyl windows. Once I started thinking about it, I realized that my windows were also badly in need of an update, so I think that I'm going to get them replaced.
This lighting idea that I found that I'm going to try and recreate myself is a twig chandelier. It's modern, but not way too space-y looking. People always think that's what modern means, but that isn't necessarily true.

03 March 2012

Skywatch Friday, Season 5 ... Episode 34

It's been a really busy couple of weeks.

These shots came from my archives.. I can't quite remember when I shot these, but I'd like to think they were shot sometime late last summer.  Headed out today for another walk with my friend, as always camera in hand. Perhaps I'll capture something new and exciting.

A very special thanks to the Skywatch team for hosting each week. Click here to other spectacular skies from around the globe. Happy  Skywatch  Weekend!

09 February 2012

Skywatch Friday .. Season 5, Episode 31

This is a shot out of my archives. The skies have been overcast this week, not good enough to shoot 'snow moons'. This particular moon was captured in May... the date on the bottom right corner is incorrect, though the year is correct...back then my camera was new, and I hadn't figured out how to take the date off...unfortunately, I haven't figured out how to remove it from the archived shot either...

Click here to see incredible skies from all over our planet...as always, special thanks goes out to the Skywatch team for hosting each week...Happy sky watching weekend all!

07 February 2012

there's a lump under my blankets...

My cats have been feeling a little insecure... Are we or aren't we moving?  I've been packing and unpacking, moving stuff in and out the door... Old stuff going away and new stuff coming in.. No, we are not moving!!! I suppose I don't blame them for feeling a bit on the uneasy side... so what is this moving lump under my bed covers?

Oh my, it's Puzzle! She has taken to hiding under any blanket she can find. She's done this before. When I lived at my friends place last year, she hid then, apparently to hide from my friends cats, who were unfriendly and didn't want to share their house with my furries..

I had to reveal her so she would consider emerging for her dinner ... Apparently, she didn't appreciate the intrusion and the food dish received a dirty look...

Even taking the food dish away didn't accomplish the desired effect ... this time I received disgusted look...

After shooting these pics, I left her to decide what she wanted to do... ultimately she did eat her dinner, then retired under the blankets again....

04 February 2012

Sunsets and dinner out

Around 4 PM today, I decided I needed to treat myself... an evening out for a dinner I wouldn't have to cook.. I headed out to feed Traveler and then to one of my favorite spots to take some pics. This sunset wasn't as spectacular as some are ... there weren't a lot of clouds to help it along.. but I did like the crisscrossing vapor trails from planes high above that couldn't be seen.. those vapor trails tell me the air (what little of it there is up there) is really cold.

Just around the corner from my favorite picture taking spot is a restaurant. It's called the T-Bone Steakhouse. It's been there a very long time ... in the vicinity of forty plus years. I'm told it used to be a private residence and was constructed in the 1920's.

It's a rustic place with sawdust on the floor, bunkhouse style wooden tables, and fabulous panoramic views of the city below since it sits on the hillside just outside South Mountain Park's western borders.. It can be accessed by car or horseback. Believe it or not the parking lot is not even paved.

The menu is cowboy fare. Choose from a variety, perfectly cooked steaks, chicken, grilled salmon, or pork chops with cowboy beans and a trip to the salad bar. Ala carte items include baked potato, red skinned mashed potatoes, garlic toast, or fresh corn on the cob. There is a menu for L'il Folks and deserts if you're not too full to enjoy it. There is full bar service, too. You choose where you'd like to sit. You can choose outside if/when the weather is pleasant, inside in two different dining areas, or at the bar.

As always, dress is casual... more often than not you're likely encounter cowboys bringing guests into the restaurant for a meal after an hour long ride through South Mountain Park, or other horse back riders just out enjoying the great weather (this time of year) after a good ride .... stopping by for a quick micro-brew or other cocktail before they head home. I have fond memories of riding Traveler there for dinner with a large group of  'horse' people. Many an evening have been spent on those trails to the T-bone Steakhouse.

Tonight, I had an excellent meal, enjoyed the company of two ladies who's names I didn't get, because it wasn't necessary, and I returned home pleasantly full.

Shopping online

Guest post of the week by Brittany Booker
I love to shop online. Since we recently got internet in Forest, I would much prefer to sit in the comfort of my home and shop online than to go to the mall or some crowded store to find what I am looking for. I often get emails about online sales that are happening at my favorite stores. I actually end up saving more money shopping online than I would if I were shopping in the stores. I do hate having to pay shipping, but I usually buy several things at once so that the shipping sometimes ends up being free. I am also amazed at how fast delivery is on most of the things that I order. For example, I bought a sweater last week on clearance and it was actually on backorder, but I ordered it on Monday and it sitting on my doorstep on Thursday. It is also much easier to find specialty items online than searching at stores for them. Last Christmas my husband and I wanted to get his parents a personalized sign for their lake house, but could not find what we wanted in any stores. I looked online and found exactly what we had pictured and also got a great deal on it with free shipping. I love the deals that I find online.

02 February 2012

Skywatch Friday Season 5 .... Week 30

Ahhhh, the weekend is almost here! I haven't had a lot of time this week to hang out around and skywatch so this shot was pulled from my archives...

On this evening, a storm was brewing to the west and this sunset turned amazing. Thanks to the skywatch team for hosting each week. For more awesome skies from all over the globe click here.

Surprise vacation in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

The family has wanted to go skiing and snowboarding in the Canadian Rockies for a long time. I thought I'd surprise them with a three week vacation to Alberta. I've located affordable short term  rentals in Edmonton where we can base ourselves to begin our exploration of the area.

I've secured snowboarding lessons for our boys at Snow Valley right in Edmonton where they can learn to snowboard. I'm not that game so I'll spend the morning taking pictures of them and blogging from the lodge in front of a roaring fire. In the afternoon 'the gang' will ski at Edmonton Ski Club.

Since Dad will be skiing with the boys, I'll be able to get away to visit the Alberta Aviation Museum where I can tour exhibits from early Canadian 'bush pilots' and learn more about 'Wop' May who was my 'Nana's' brother on my father's side of the family. With a little luck, I might be able to find his son Denny, and perhaps arrange a meeting of cousins for an afternoon and evening during our visit.

I have plans to drive down to Banff National Park and spend a couple of days. I want the boys experience the wonder Canada's oldest national park. On our way back to Edmonton, we will stop in Calgary and spend an over night taking in a hockey game. With only two days remaining once we return to Edmonton, I'll let the boys choose what they want to do...chances are they'll want to go skiing again...

30 January 2012

Where do they go?

Today and the last few days, I've been working along the side of the freeway, interstate, connector loop, expressway, whatever it's called where you live.  Ever wonder where all those cars, motorcycles, trucks, and big rigs are going?
In front of me there is traffic, behind me (below) there is traffic, on the frontage road next to me there is traffic... It's after 'rush hours' and the roadway is still busy, busy, busy ... Ever wonder where they're all going? Oh and there's a glimpse of the trench in the shot too.

We're loading dirt.  Digging a trench that will eventually become a footer for a large sound barrier wall to protect the neighborhood from the noise on the roadway .... And in the shot below, you can barely see the small track hoe bucket dropping dirt over the side of my truck into the bed and the engineer standing in the trench making certain it's at the right depth...

It's about like sitting at the end of the runway watching the planes land and take off... or ... as I recall from many years ago, heading to the 'observation deck' at Logan International Airport in Boston, just to have something to do, watch the planes land and take off... about like I was doing today as I was getting loaded with dirt..... idly wondering where DO all these people go?

22 January 2012

Colic and a dust storm ...

Last night just before dark a 'cool' weather front passed through the valley of the sun, the wind kicked up pretty good. I was over to take care of Traveler and he was acting really strangely. I'm thinking he had a 'bellyache' and I'm guessing on this  'bellyache' thing ... . I'd given him his apples and carrots which I do in the evening with his alfalfa. He ate that stuff, pawed the alfalfa and walked away... Hrrrumph? I wonder what's up with that? Then he promptly laid down and rolled. He often rolls when I turn him into the pasture, but in his stall? Not usually. RED FLAG! Colic?

I've seen the symptoms of colic in other horses, so I'm attentive when Traveler seems to be out of sorts. They can't tell us when they have a belly ache or some other malady, but they do exhibit out of the ordinary symptoms when they're not feeling up to snuff...

I'd recently changed providers for his alfalfa, and I thought the quality was about the same, so, I didn't think much of it, until last night... then I remembered what another 'horse person' friend had said.. his horses had had episodes of colic when he'd changed providers, too.  Maybe this change of alfalfa is causing the 'bellyache'? Doesn't make any kind of sense to me, it's been a couple of weeks since I changed providers.

I turned him into the pasture so he could roll without getting hung up in the fence of his stall. I tried to chase him around a little bit and he didn't seem interested in that game... something's definitely up.

Now, where to I have the stuff stashed to make a 'cowboy' cocktail for the symptoms? I need pepto bismal, clear mineral oil, and a couple of ounces of Jack Daniels (any other whiskey works too).  I know I have some of the stuff handy, but crap, I don't have the keys to get into where it is, they're on the other key ring at home...

I keep telling myself ...'don't panic, you caught this in time' as I jump in the truck and head for the CVS pharmacy.  CVS has everything I need to make this 'cowboy cocktail' including the whiskey.

Head back to Traveler. I don't have anything to mix the cocktail in... jump in the truck again and come home .... need the keys, need the other bigger bottle of Jack Daniels, the syringe I use to get it into him, and something to mix it up in. Round and round in circles looking for what I need.... my place is a disaster area with half packed boxes... back to Traveler.

Now, he's starting to freak out .... the wind has kicked up to 25-30 mph.  He doesn't like the wind, gets freaky and jumpy. I don't know many horses who enjoy high wind, but he definitely doesn't. The dust has blotted out the Estrella Mountains and weak sunlight to the west... hurry, h-u-r-r-y, H-U-R-R-Y!!!! Get the cocktail mixed, climbed through the fence with the cocktail and halter/lead rope. Took a minute to get him to stand still while I got a halter on him and tied him to the fence... He's not happy about being tied to the fence, he wants back in his stall right now!

Need both hands to load the syringe, and he won't stand still, he's bumping me. The dust is getting in my eyes... I grabbed his halter and steadied his head so I could get at his mouth (aim is better) and push the plunger. Yay! Got it! He makes a funny face and looks at me as if to say, 'what's this crap!'

Loaded the plunger again, it's not the right size so I'm going to have to dose him two more times. Got him dosed and immediately headed for his pen.. He's all over me, bumping me with his shoulder, walking on top of me, so I picked up the pace to his pen before he could knock me down or step on my sneakered foot ... Ahh, safety and security, only he's not happy when I tie him to the fence outside his pen... and he watches my every move while I hang a 1/2 barrel feeder on the fence.

I need to get his feed off the sandy ground. That's probably part of the problem too, I'm thinking .... Got the feeder up. Opened another bale, tossed in a 1/2 of a 1/2 a flake, and loaded the stuff he turned his nose up at some fresher alfalfa into the feeder along with some orange flavored Metamucil. This I use because it has psyllium husk in it which also helps to move sand out of his stomach and intestines...

Oh, oh something new! He stands behind the feeder more than a nose next length away, stretching toward it as if it's going to bite him, and has to snuffle it before he decides it's okay .... it's not going to 'get him', he grabs what's in it and settles in ....

I walk around his pen checking poohs. There's nothing recent, so I know he hasn't poohed in a couple of hours, and I hadn't heard any gastric noises in his belly when I listened... sighing .... I hope this 'cowboy remedy' works. I clean his water barrel so he has fresh when he needs it, and leave him to his feed.

I'm glad to say ... when I went to feed this morning, a little earlier than usual, he is fine and dandy... cleaned up everything in the feeder and whatever he dropped on the ground... another dose of Metamucil with his feed this morning should do the trick. Good fresh pooh on the ground in four or five places, so that's a promising sign too... caught it in time.

I should note, we had a good dust storm last night too. It came full force after dark. There's still a lot of dust in the air this morning ...

Exciting opportunity in Calgary, Aberta

My good friend Jessie has an exciting new job opportunity in Calgary, Alberta. He will need to find housing in a very short time. I have family in the area so I offered to get in touch with my cousin Janine and ask her to recommend a site where we could find apartments for rent in Calgary.

Jessie's needs are simple. He's on a tight budget. He needs to find something affordable close to his new job, convenient to shopping and easy access to the airport. Since he's not at all computer literate and time is short to secure housing and make arrangements for the move, he asked for my help. The site is user friendly and informative, thank you Janine. In a very short time, I had several communities that would meet his needs and he could call ahead to make appointments to visit them while he was in the city for his final interview.

His final 'entry' interview in Calgary went well and he accepted the job. While he was there he was able to find an affordable unit that will meet his needs, too. His says new the place overlooks the city and has a panoramic view of the mountains from one of his balconies.  His new job is within walking distance and he has access to public transportation. The new apartment is close to nightlife (a must for young people who want to make new friends), and shopping is right around the corner. The airport is a short taxi ride away, too. Curiosity got the better of me ... I Googled his new address and I discovered a wonderful city park a few blocks away from his new place, he didn't mention the park.

I'm envious. I've never been to Calgary, though the city is on my 'bucket list' of things to do before I am too old to enjoy it. Jessie has promised me the grand tour of the city, a visit to the Calgary Stampede, and maybe I'll get in  a day of skiing at one of the resorts nearby. I'm already making reservations.

20 January 2012

Skywatch Friday, Season 5, Episode 28

It's been a busy time the last few weeks and I haven't had time to sit and think about much of anything.

My sis was out to visit last weekend for a few days and we did some driving around the area. She took many more pictures than I did the day we drove up to the Dobbins Look out in South Mountain Park.

Happy Skywatch Friday to all! And a very special thanks to the sky watch team for hosting each week.

Remembering an excellent roommate …

Excellent 'cool'  roommates come along infrequently in life. Curmudge was an excellent roommate … not the kind to shirk taking care of keeping the bills on time, or taking his pick up truck to be washed, waxed, and detailed weekly.

Though if he wasn't reminded, he’d definitely procrastinate over picking up after himself, taking the overflowing trash out to the dumpster, loading dishes into the dishwasher, cleaning his bathroom, doing his own laundry or doing any number of other mundane chores around the place.

I shouldn't complain, and thinking back it’s more of an observation, though I did do my share of complaining about his lack of attentiveness and complete lack of interest… I suppose, I couldn't understand how he couldn't manage to get the simplest of chores done while I was away at work. More often than not it was a major task to get him to cooperate.

For many months I've been working full time again. He’d been completely retired for more than a year due to illness and stayed at home, very rarely went out, especially the last few months except for doctors appointments, or to have the truck taken care of… I’d have to guess maybe his attitude toward housework and mundane chores was because he was from an 'old school' where women did all the household chores, cooking, grocery shopping and maybe even worked outside the house too. The man of the household always worked outside the home and did what 'he' desired to do with his free time… very often (back then) they did not help with the mundane 'inside' chores around the house.

I have to wonder how he survived all those years he lived a bachelor? I never did get an answer to that question. But it was apparent he didn't do much housework ( the cursory swipe with a paper towel or maybe a damp rag). He hated going shopping for food, and as to keeping the clutter in order?  Well, that ... I'm sad to say was nonexistent before we decided to room together more than a year and a half ago.…

Curmudge passed away a little more than a week ago after a long illness. He's in a much better place and without pain. But, I wonder if I'm not a wee bit superstitious. Twelve years ago this month and just a week earlier than Curmudge’s passing, my mum passed away. She and I had been living in this same mobile home park for more than two years, albeit at a different address than presently …. but … maybe I'm not supposed to live in this mobile home park?

In any case, Curmudge was the finest kind of roommate for a gal to have. He will be missed, his kind of roommate is hard to find… and I'm on the move again… not quite sure just where yet, but by the end of next week I'll be settling into somewhere new. New beginnings….

16 January 2012

Shopping you're way at Become

I've never tried 'on line' shopping. In fact, truth be told...I thought it would be a scary experience. I've got a lot  going on around me, lots of things happening in a very short time, and I need a quick convenient place to shop and the become.com  site will do this for me. I can find everything I need with a few quick clicks of my mouse.

I'm going 'horse camping' in February. We're going to be out in the middle of nowhere with no readily available electric source and I need something to power my trailer. I wondered does the b&s 30422 have a generator or alternator  that will do the job for me? A few minutes later, I found exactly the portable generator to power everything I need while I'm camping.

 A very special family member has a birthday coming up. While I'm thinking about  it, and trying to plan ahead, I decided to check out a buxton super croc wallet. This wallet is the perfect gift for the lady who wants to be more organized.

My sis is in town this week helping me pack to move and while we were packing lamps, I discovered a couple of my candelabra lamps were in need of repair, so back to the computer again ... and I typed in the keywords keyless candelabra socket w/ single leg hickey and voila I found exactly the right thing I needed to fix my lamps. Lamps repaired in short order.

This is my very first 'on line' shopping experience and it has been convenient, quick, and stress free. All kinds of products can be found here, from automotive to toys, video games and everything in between.  It's power shopping at it's best....click, peruse, compare, shop, and save big.

07 January 2012

Ozark Trails Queen 'anywhere' bed with frame

In the last year, I've gotten a lot of hits to my page about this air bed and Ozark Trails tent. I wrote about this bed in November 2010.. visit that post by clicking here . I loved it and still like the concept of an affordable air bed that can be picked up and put away when you're limited on space...
Though ... I have an observation to share...

The other night I was re-inflating the mattress when it blew a rib-seam in the middle of the mattress, making a huge hump and the rest of the mattress under inflated... (makes for a very uncomfortable sleep overnight).  After inspection, there's not a lot I can do to fix it, except replace the mattress with a 'like kind' which can be found (at an affordable  price) in any camping area of a local Walmart.

I'm still impressed with the convenience this bed has offered me the last year... the original price, affordability, and the space-saving concept. I'll replace the mattress, and I'll have a good night's sleep tonight, too.

05 January 2012

Opting for a cozy New Year's Eve party

Guest post written by Glinda Patterson

Gone are the days when I want to go to a rowdy New Year's Eve party. But don't worry about me, I definitely got my fill of those during my 20s. Now I like to just watch movies with my family in our living room. But I thought that it might be fun to have a little party for our friends and family this year. But instead of something really crazy, I thought that I would just make it fun and tell people that there's no pressure for them to dress up for it, either.
While I was online looking up some info about how to throw this party, I ran across the website http://hearingaids.miracle-ear.com. After I looked through it some I decided to go and get a hearing test to see if I need some hearing aids, which I actually did.
I think that I have a whole lot of great thigns planned for our cozy New Year's Eve party, including some great comfort food that I know all of my guests will love!

Scorpion Gulch

On the same day I went into South Mountain Park to do some 'soul' searching, hike old haunts, and take some pictures ... I stopped at Scorpion Gulch on my way out of the Park. I'd never perused the grounds before,  though I'd live across the street at the now closed  All Western Stables from 2001 to 2004.

Really and truly ... Scorpion Gulch is the name of a real place. It's located just east of the park entrance. In it's heyday, it was a trading post that sold jewelry, leather, hand-made Indian goods, curios, penny candy and soda pop to the locals and visitors to the park.

In 1936 William Lunsford bought the 100 foot frontage and manually hauled in the stone to build the store and accompanying building  in which he and his wife lived and operated the store... It is said the store operated until the late 1960's,  and was once a bar (I don't know if it actually was a bar is true tellin's or not). The property became part of the Phoenix Historic Property Register in the 1990's.

I learned from some of the 'old timer's who knew Bill Lunsford that in his garden behind the house and store there were some 1800 species of cacti, some of which were imported from different countries. The garden is still cared for by the City of Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department though not as many varieties can be seen today.

Another few steps behind the old property is an actual gulch or maybe just a large wash ... I suppose it depends on where you hail from as to what you could call it. I have been witness to a 'gusher' or two over the years after particularly bad monsoon storms. Today, the gulch behind the property is dry, and is used primarily as a horseback riding trail and access into other areas of the park.