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.