Saturday, June 6, 2020

Weird Comes Out With The Full Moon

It's always been said that the crazies come out with the full moon.  In my experience, it's definitely true.  Whether people or critters, the moon's way of drawing in weird is an art.

I've been fretting with my tripod and camera connection for the last year.  With the full moon coming up, it's time to get that fixed.
Meet a ballhead, aptly named because it is movable thanks to the ball and socket connection, like our hip joints.  This is not the one I got, but you can get the idea.  They range in price from $39 to $800.  No I'm not telling you what I paid because it was a gift ..... to myself, for my birthday.  Good photographic equipment is expensive, but no, I did NOT pay $800.
I couldn't wait to try it out.  Mine has lots of buttons on it, making it difficult to figure out which one to turn to get the desired results.  My first picture was of the concrete ... a slight error in the tightness of the knob.

The moon was beautiful and about half full, surrounded by clouds.  That's the first picture above.  This was the second picture.  It took me that long to figure out how to set the darn thing up.  As I was snapping away, some old gent (old is always older than me) came by riding a scooter.  Not the electric kind, but the ones you push with your foot.  That was weird .......
The next night I was back out, having a little more experience this time.  It's totally a shot in the dark to figure out the camera settings.  They are never the same twice, so it took lots of shots before I got this one.  I'm using a Nikon camera and shooting in manual, meaning you have something like 225 chances to get it right.  I seem to take all 225.
Last night was the Strawberry moon, so of course I had all my gear ready in the back yard.  Trees and a big light pole blocked my view.  I headed out front and got all set up.  Let it be known I'm not usually out at this time of night.  Just then I spotted movement at the end of my driveway.  

NO ..... it CAN'T be!!!  I swear I saw three little skunks cross over and duck into my drain pipe.  I quickly changed the camera settings, but it wouldn't focus.  It's pitch black by now, but I'm SURE I saw them cross the road.  If you've ever seen a skunk move about, you know the telltale movement of their tails.  I tried over and over again to get a picture.  This is the best that came up.  You have to use your imagination, but those black spots are three skunks.  YIKES!!!  That was REALLY weird.  I've never seen or smelled any in this area before.
At long last, the strawberry moon came up over the trees so I could get a good shot, all the while keeping an eye on the direction of the skunks.
On the way back in the house, I heard CRUNCH!!!  Oh YUCK!!!  My porch now had six huge snails moving around and I was lucky enough to step on one.  My shoes are still outside on the porch.

In the meantime, I may just have this rib smoking thing down.  I'll show you pictures tomorrow.  

Friday, June 5, 2020

About Those Ribs

Now I know why I never purchased baby back ribs at Costco.  Good grief Charlie Brown, these things are HUGE!!  The $43 price tag took my breath away!!  My food bill has been running around $450 a month and there is just little old me!!  It might be cheaper for me to go back on the Nutrisystem diet!!

Knowing there was no way I was going to eat all these, I decided to package them separately.  That never would have dawned on me except as I was scrounging for sprinkler parts and pieces, I discovered my FoodSaver machine.
I was extremely lucky to find an entire roll of bag material inside.  It probably cost me $15 in plastic to reseal them.  I was a happy camper when it all went swimmingly and I didn't melt the plastic to my fingers.  Today, with a new rub recipe, I'll smear up one slab and get ready for more smoke.

These cook at about 220 degrees, so the temperature shouldn't be hard to acquire.  With the 105 temps we've been having, I could probably just set the thing in the sun and be done with it.  Last night it got all the way down to 75 degrees.  Woohoo!!!
While in town, I did gather a little information.  Unfortunately I didn't come up with a name on that protest permit yet.  In fact, there were THREE protests yesterday.  Apparently all three involved the University of California students.  

Those are the peaceful demonstrators, but somehow the OTHER groups are riding on their backs.  How they know when and where these demonstrations are going to be held is not known.  Lucky for the town, the main streets with the most traffic do not have businesses they can break in to with one exception .... the Bike Shop known for it's very expensive racing bicycles.  Yup ... windows broken and stuff stolen.

It appears that ANTIFA is most likely the culprit here, but there is no proof as of yet.  They are actually coming into town in buses.  Yes, someone is bussing them into our area.  Locals looking for free TV's and game boxes are following along in the hopes of looting businesses. 

What they don't understand about this County is that it's a big gun advocate area.  Practically everyone has a concealed carry permit and they are all about backing up their Sheriff.  Businesses on our little main street boarded up their windows and doors anyway, basically closing down just when they thought they might survive the C-19 debacle.  Sadly I don't think they will recover. 

So today I'll leave you with this nice sunset picture.  It's sad that all those protestors don't realize the real damage they are doing to our towns and how much they are affecting many people to be even MORE racist due to their actions.  Seems to me if you show respect, you get respect (take Martin Luther King for example) but that's not happening.  
So now I'm wondering ... why isn't the media crying out about hundreds of protestors being in close proximity with very few wearing masks?  We have not been allowed to hit the beaches or even gather in church, but we ARE allowed to protest in close proximity?  

Thursday, June 4, 2020

Smoke and More Smoke

The voodoo dolls have been held at bay for an entire day.  Knock on wood, nothing went wrong yesterday as I drug out my smoker for some local entertainment.

I love smoking in my Bradley.  It's controls are all electronic so it's much easier, at least until you get to the end part where you determine if it's done or not.  I quit cooking chickens because I never seemed to get that part right.  They were WAY too red in the middle, probably because I didn't know how to work the vent at the top.  How hard can that be?

This is a new recipe from Myron Mixon.  He's won more barbecue championships than anyone in the world, and he will tell you so.  Must be some good stuff, so I got his book.  Anything to give me an edge and not waste this expensive meat.

Believe it or not, I actually brined these two chicks overnight, something I've never done before.  Then I mixed up his rub and placed them on racks in these big pans, filling them half full of apple  juice.  In the smoker they went.
Looking pretty good, right?  My mouth was watering and my entire self smelled of smoke.  Unfortunately, I left the little vent open too much and it wouldn't come up to 250 degrees.  45 minutes later, I figured it out, which of course added 45 minutes to the cooking time.   Three pound chickens, three hours, only mine were FIVE pound chickies.  

By the way, did I mention I had company?  My friend Cyndae came down from Sacramento.  The perfect guinea pig to test out this recipe.  She likes ALL my food!  Finally, five hours later, they hit 165 degrees and I brought them out to rest.  They looked a little overdone to me but it turned out that was just the rub and not charcoal.
Amazingly, they were cooked perfectly, juicy and tender.  I'm not so hot on Myron's rub though.  There was WAY too much chili powder and not near enough salt.  He probably wouldn't give away his best recipes ... maybe I can tweak this one and make it more to my liking.  

The other problem, if anyone might know, is that I really don't taste that much smoky flavor.  Out of the five hours it cooked, I only ran the smoke for 2-1/2 hours.  Maybe I should have let it go for the entire cooking time?
At any rate, it was pretty tasty ... a win in my book.  Next up baby back ribs.  Cyndae stopped in at Costco on her way down and picked up a three pack for me.  We will see how Myron's recipe is for those in a couple of days.

In the meantime, I sure would like to know who is setting up all these protests.  You have to get a permit to do so in every town.  So far there have been four in our local area, something that has never happened before.  Businesses are now being shamed and blamed because they put up plywood to protect their stores from damage.  "How dare you think we are going to loot and burn your business.  You are SO racist!!!"  I kid you not, that's what's going on here in California.  

There is going to be another in Merced this morning.  The Sheriff, Highway Patrol and Police Department are geared up to keep the peace.  Our Sheriff is one cowboy you don't want to mess with.  In the meantime, I'm doing some investigation to see just what organization is setting these up in our tiny farming towns.

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Out With The New ... In With The Old

Sometimes OLD is good.  Not often mind you, but on occasion us old folks are good for something.  Actually, I'm talking about electronic things in this instance.  How could that be?  Newer electronics are ALWAYS better.

It's because of my new voodoo doll!  This is me just before heading off to the Verizon store that is NOT the Verizon store, in spite of the word Verizon emblazoned on their building.  Inside the door in very small letters is the word Vitrak.  THEY are the store, not Verizon.  Tricky little devils.
Here's the new jetpack, smaller everything, including screen and letters, harder to handle, not ergonomically designed and a big waste of money.  They show you the price of $100, but today you get a BIG discount ... it's only $49.99, plus tax, plus SIM card, plus setup, etc.  
Don't be fooled.  The OLD one is much easier to handle, has a big screen and actually works MUCH better.  I've no idea WHY it's working better (think Voodoo), but I'm back to the old one.  It took 45 minutes of standing there with a fake mask over my face while I stood ten feet from everyone.  

Believe it or not, the Manager had to call the same phone number I did to try and get it returned and waive the restocking fee of $35.  Something in their computer didn't click.  I probably got a little too close to his Apple computer with that needle I stuck in his heart.

The good news is I got everything except $10 refunded.  That was for the now destroyed SIM card.  Is it working better?  A tad bit ... in fact, I now have two bars more often than not.  I think this Voodoo Doll thing has a new fan.
That turned out to be much ado about nothing.  In the meantime, since many readers missed the story of the kite babies screaming in the tree, I thought I would post these pictures again.  That's the baby on the right, being stalked by a mockingbird.  Kind of reminds me of myself and that Manager.
Here's Mom coming to the rescue with breakfast for the baby.  I was sure they would be flying by now, but the babies are still screaming from the treetops to be fed.  I think there are two, one in another tree close by.  They make me smile.
In other good news, my square ruler finally arrived yesterday.  I raced outside to stop the driver before he left this time.  I wanted to be doubly sure it was actually IN the bag.  Yay ... I can now quit sitting on my bum and get back to sewing where I'll sit on my bum some more!!
As to all the looting and burning, they should all be in jail.  I do find it interesting just how much the media is fueling the fire on this entire thing, starting with the Covid 19 virus that is going to kill everyone (or maybe not), to the tragic death of a black man (the cop should get life), to piles of bricks and concrete blocks deposited close to buildings and now to a guy who says he was hired to loot and burn by Soros using a very old video (I've seen it before) where he confesses.  Sadly, it's destroying business after business and family after family who are just trying to get by.  

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Voodoo Dolls??

Somewhere there is a Voodoo Doll with my name on it.  It must resemble me enough, although I don't know how they managed to duplicate this hair, to cause trouble in my life.  Thankfully they took the pin out of my back, which I was finally able to maneuver back in place.  Hallelujah!!

On the other hand, it's wreaking havoc with my internet service.  The latest and greatest Jetpack does not work any better than the old one.  They told me I had four days to return it.  Come to find out, that was fourTEEN days, so there was no need to panic yesterday, which was of course day FOUR.
Supposedly the Repair Gods would fix the problem in 72 hours.  When that didn't happen, I called again.  This time I was on hold for 30 minutes, before explaining I just needed to speak to a Level Two Tech.  Another 30 minutes on hold and I was connected, but apparently that next NEEDLE got in the way because it was a Tech One.  After explaining everything again, I was finally sent off to a Tech TWO.  

I waited 92 minutes for her to answer.  I kid you not, I was on the phone for almost THREE hours.  I could feel the needle twisting in my eye.  Apparently they made some upgrades to the tower over a week ago when my service started to go downhill the first time, which is the cause of my now bad connection.  There is nothing they can do.

The nice lady in Mississippi was at least very honest, saying the new Jetpack was not going to work any better, that I should just return it.  She will make sure I'm not charged the extra signup fee of $40.  That must have been from another needle, because no one told me about a sign up fee.
The needle went in deeper.  I rushed off to return the Jetpack and get my $70 back.  No problem, they are happy to take it back EXCEPT ... ADAM forgot to tell me there would be a restocking fee of $35.  I suddenly felt ten needles go in my brain all at once.  The manager might possibly waive that fee, but I have to return today at 3:00 to see if I will be graced with his good nature.

Ummmmmmmmmmmm  Ummmmmmmmmmmmm  I'm practicing my yoga relax mantra so I don't strangle him the second I walk in the door.

In the meantime, there have been a few more needles stuck into my leg where I fell into the coffee table while retrieving the ball for Cooper (I'm not as good at it as he is) and one in my finger that I tried to chop off with my newest sharpest knife while cutting up onions for this quiche.  

It is Pioneer Woman's recipe and quite delicious.  That's a frozen pie crust underneath because they taste SO much better than mine.
In the meantime, I'm wondering if you can make a voodoo doll for a voodoo doll?  I have plenty of very long sharp quilting pins!!!  Or WAIT ..... maybe I'll make one for ADAM and his MANAGER!! YES!!!!!

Monday, June 1, 2020

Here Kitty Kitty Kitty .....

Is this a beauty or what?  Sadly, he's not on my property.  As you know, I'm all about the critters, so when a FB friend posted this and many other images, I was on it like a mockingbird on slugs.  I have plenty of those in my yard, but nothing like this.

Apparently this gorgeous specimen killed a deer not far from their house.  He decided the best place to stash it was in a huge pile of leaves about 75 feet from their back door.  When they figured out what was going on, they installed game cameras and eventually video cameras.

This saga has gone on for almost two weeks as he ate his fill every day, then covered the rest with leaves.  He bedded down close by to be sure no one stole his dinner.  He curled up, slept on and off, backed up to and peed on the cameras (which is why they know it's a male) and proceeded to guard his stash.  Is that the coolest thing ever?

Every day he would disappear for awhile, but returned every night to bed down with his now stinky cache of food.  Surprisingly he wasn't the least bit bothered by people moving around in the house.  A little worse for wear, his one ear is chewed a tad and he had what appeared to be a scar on his back leg.

He did not bother their dogs or them, and they left him alone, figuring he would wander off when the feast was gone.  He left only the skull and feet.  After two days, he returned to check for any leftovers.  This is his territory and I'm sure he was patrolling the borders.  What a beauty!!
The most exciting thing in my life right now?  My black thumb reared it's ugly head as one of the trees I planted ... the one mostly in the sun ... began to die immediately.  I suppose it was the shock of being moved added to the 104 degree weather for an entire day.  RATS!!!
So ..... off to Home Depot I drove.  In my experience so far, I have never even SEEN any lines, let alone had to stand in one.  I parked way down on the very end by the plants section and walked right up and in the door, not realizing they had a very long blocked off hallway I was supposed to enter.  Really?  Maybe if it had been full of people, I would have noticed my error.  On the other hand, it was VERY early in the morning and I was half asleep.

I'm pretty sure the only two in the store with no masks were the girl at the door and me.  They have plastic screen up everywhere, making it difficult to place things on the counter and even harder to reach the credit machine, completely covered with fingerprints.  I can't help but wonder at everyone touching the machine with no problem and all wearing masks only over their mouth. 

Anyway, I got my stuff including this beauty and headed out the door, only to walk the quarter mile to my truck, which is when I noticed the 30 people now waiting in line.  The tree is planted around the corner and this has taken it's place, matching the other two Lily of the Nile plants to the right.  Lets hope and pray they BOTH live.  I'm not holding my breath.
If you were wondering about the internet service, it's worse than ever.  I'm returning the new model today, but I expect it won't be without costing me more money.  It doesn't work near as well as the old one.  Unfortunately, they already got me in a new plan ... which always happens when all you want is a decent connection.  The only redeeming factor is I now have 10 gb per month for the same price, versus the 8 I had before.  I only use 6.

I'm pretty sure I'm in for a fight.  Won't THIS be fun!!!

Sunday, May 31, 2020

Getting Dirty!!

The empty package from Amazon held the 7-1/2" square required for me to continue with the quilt I'm working on.  I've been waiting a week, what's a few more days?  I can't do a thing until it arrives, which is supposed to be today .... on a Sunday .... yeah right!!  I'm pretty sure that's not going to happen.  It's okay, I should be outside anyway.

Springtime requires yard work, there's no getting around it.  Just to make sure my aches and pains are in working order however, I went for a run yesterday morning after again struggling to fit in those compression shorts.  It started out as a walk, but that impulse to run just can't be denied.

It's really not running, it's more like jogging.  Boy did it feel good to be back in the saddle so to speak.  I cruised right along, dying for air.  Once you are back in some semblance of shape, you don't suck down air like it's your last breath.  Still, I did better than I thought.  Except for .... there is always an except for ..... that new pain in my one and only old surgery site.  What's up with that?

What better way to work out the new kinks than digging big holes in the garden.  Literally three bottles of water later, I was ready to plant my two new purchases.  Just let me say plants are not cheap any more.  If you want something that requires little maintenance, you have to pay the piper.
Here is where they live.  Those old stick poles are now gone, but I need yet one more plant on the corner.  All that of course brought up how to water them.  You can see the drip line, but I had to remove and replace the actual drip thingies.  It really was NOT funny that no water came out when I turned them on.

Trouble shooting has become my middle name when it comes to sprinklers.  At last I heard the geyser causing the problem, but it was underneath a huge bush in the front yard.  I ended up cutting back half the bush to even FIND the line.  In no time I was covered in spider webs, mud and dead leaves.

Like Pigpen in the Peanuts cartoon, I dropped pieces of flotsam all through the house as I hunted down the parts and pieces to get it fixed.  Not finding exactly what I needed, I faked it until I can get back to the sprinkler store.  Next up ..... clean the floor .... but first, those compression shorts had to be replaced with something more comfortable.  Uncompression was heavenly!!
As a reward for all that hard work, one (just one) day lily bloomed for me in the back yard.  Success!!
Thankfully the weather cooled off as rain was predicted, but alas it hit Phoenix and Tucson instead.  Knowing the break wouldn't last long, I corralled Cooper for a haircut.  I would show you a picture, but this is NOT his favorite activity.  He hid in the bedroom until everything was safely put away.
I'm determined to get to Home Depot today.  In the meantime, the little WiFi has kept one to five bars, rotating back and forth about every fifteen seconds.  I have not seen the dreaded NO SIGNAL words for the last 30 minutes.  Maybe, just maybe, they got it fixed.  I know I'm wrong and I'm not holding my breath, but it's a nice thought.

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Trouble Shooting

Not my forte ... I'm more into figuring out math problems than ones that involve computers.  I used to be very good at it, but it involved Windows and I was connected to the IT Department.  Nowadays it just frustrates me, enough to make me sit on the phone for an hour waiting for someone to pick up so I can explain the problem.

This is what started it all.  Fed Ex delivered this Amazon package two days ago.  The package was never sealed, although there is a piece of tape on it that you can barely see.  Needless to say, there was NOTHING in the bag.  I chased after him, but he paid no attention.  Surely he KNEW that package was empty!!!  Gosh that made me mad!!
In trying to contact Amazon, my computer just kept locking up.  Over and over again it would not load a page.  I really thought it was the very old Jetpack, so off I headed to the Verizon store.  They sent me a notice many moons ago saying they would not support that model any more.  I thought a new one would solve the problem.

To be even more irritating, Verizon would only let ONE customer in the building at a time.  Masks and gloves required.  I had to sit outside and wait 30 minutes for the old guy to figure out how to use his phone before I was finally let in the door ..... sans mask and gloves.  I think the kid knew he had a fight on his hands.

He of course, had no idea why my jetpack was not working, but was happy (no surprise) to sell me a new one for $71.00.  Back home, not only did it do the same thing, but it was worse than the old one. I thought it was their tower, but how do I prove that?
Cooper waited patiently on the couch while I drove down the block to the tower.  I got five bars on the North side, absolutely nothing on the South side.  Now we're getting somewhere.  My computer seemed to work just fine when it had a good signal.  At least I've narrowed it down.

Back home, I put in the call to Verizon.  You know how that goes ... Tech One can't fix it.  Tech Two took thirty minutes to answer the phone before handing me off to Tech Three.  He sent a repair crew out to check on the tower, or so he said.  

Amazingly, late in the afternoon when my signal is usually so bad I can't get on the internet at all, it was working, although hesitantly.  YAY!!  It's fixed ... kinda sorta.
But wait ...... now this morning it's back to five bars, one bar, five bars, no service, five bars, no service ..... constantly shifting back and forth.  I spent $71 for nothing.  With a big sigh, I guess I'll be back on the phone this morning.  My other option is to drive over to the tower every morning in order to write the blog.  Won't THAT be fun!!

Here's hoping I can at least get the blog to post!!!  

Friday, May 29, 2020

Testing The New Blogger

I can tell you right now, I hate it, after using it for 30 seconds.  Why do they always want to change things that are working great, at least in MY experience.  At least creating New Posts seems to be the same, it's the first page that throws me.

Can't you just make it simple with words instead of putting icons all over the page?  It took me ten minutes to find out where to click for a new post.
I'm reverting back to the old in the hopes of staying there indefinitely!!

Strangers In The Morning

In the early morning, like around 5:00 before anyone else is stirring, I sit on my patio and drink my coffee.  I like soaking up all the cool ... especially the cool ... and the quiet, only interrupted by the scream of a peacock and two roosters.

Lately I've been hearing what I instantly recognized as baby birds wanting to be fed.  I raised cockatiels, parrots and cockatoos long enough to become very familiar with the squawking language. FOOD .... FEED ME!!!

I've seen them flying about in the pine trees at the edge of my property, but couldn't really tell what they were.  We actually do have lots of seagulls around here, even though we are far from the ocean.  That squawking though .... that was just too familiar.

I finally got out my camera with the long lens and began shooting in that direction.  Wasn't I surprised when I discovered what the strangers actually were.  These are baby White Tailed Kites.  They usually congregate in grasslands and marshes, neither of which exist in my back yard.
The male, good guy that he is, brings food to Mom and the babies while she sits in the nest.  Once fledged, both parents continue to bring breakfast every day, even though the babies can fly from tree to tree.  They mostly live in Mexico, with a few hanging out in the San Joaquin Valley in California.  Funny, I've never seen them before.
Here's the perfect picture of Mom (or Dad) bringing baby some breakfast.  I watched them for over an hour as they made trip after trip.
Even a mockingbird got in the act.  I don't know if he was looking for scraps or just checking out the baby.  They eat lots of scraps like leftover french fries from my neighbors garbage.  I know that because I find pieces all over my yard, along with the bags they tear apart.  Big time scavengers those Mockingbirds.
Just to be sure I had the identification right, this is a picture from the internet.  They have two very distinctive "eyes" on their wings.  What a cool find in my very own back yard!!  I've seen the babies flapping their wings a lot, so I imagine they won't be around long.  I sure hope they come back next year.  Isn't nature cool??
My sole project for today is to check out my internet provider ... this little Verizon JetPack.  To be honest, I'm not sure if it is that or my computer.  This Mac is over five years old and probably needs an upgrade.  

If you've been around for awhile, you know my last and only copy of Photoshop for my photography is on this computer.  It cannot be transferred to any other machine.  A new computer means I have to subscribe to the Cloud (I hate the cloud) for all my photography needs.  They don't make Photoshop on a disk any more.  It's more lucrative to demand a payment every month, not to mention the hit my wallet will take on a comparative computer of around $4,000.  I draggeth my feet!!!

Worse case, I try to upgrade my computer and it crashes, causing the big expense of a new one.  Best case, when I reinstall everything, Photoshop will magically reappear, having been in a coma, and not remember she was supposed to die a horrible death upon reinstallation.

Either way, it's going to be stressful.  If I disappear for a couple of days, you'll know why!!

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Making Something Out Of Nothing

That's exactly what I've been trying to do for the last couple of weeks.  I really had to work at it yesterday to make something out of the nothing going on around here.  This part was pretty exciting ... a 106 degree day in May.  We don't usually get these temps until July.  It doesn't bode well for June.
After searching around for thirty minutes to find my marathon-wear, I was able to S-Q-U-E-E-Z-E into the compression shorts I always wore ..... barely.  Gosh ... they made me look ten pounds lighter.  How cool was THAT!!  Breathing quickly became a problem when I bent over to put my running shoes on.

This is around the corner and down the street.  Thankfully most of it was in the shade because even at 6:00 in the morning, it was hot.  While I usually wear my iPod for music, it was not to be found so I had to amuse myself with humming.  
When I arrived at the end, there was a huge ruckus in the Bird Man's back yard.  This gentleman has an entire acre of cages with birds, pheasants, dove, ducks and two peacock escapees.  They do make really good watch dogs and squawked accordingly as I walked by.  I always wondered where that loud peacock sound came from, thinking it was a much closer neighbor.  Sounds does travel I guess.
There were lots of blooming oleanders along the roadways, but even their beauty didn't dissuade the squeezing around my middle like a boa constrictor hungry for dinner.  I thought maybe if I went far enough, I could actually lose an entire pound in one walk, resulting in me at least not passing out.
I did have the urge to run occasionally ... old habits die hard ... but not having the ENTIRE marathon outfit on, things move around WAY too much.  I'm afraid to gear up, having previously been completely stuck in an awkward position with no way of getting out .... kind of like trying on a too-small dress in the dressing room where you have to call someone to drag it off over your head.  Embarrassing to say the least.  

At any rate, I was surprised to find this tiny library along the way, half full of kids stuff, half full of not bad books.  I'm not sure how these work ... are you supposed to deposit a book in order to borrow one?  I just might deposit some so they know their little library is working.
More pretty flowers along the route kept my tempo up, but the skinny mini girl in the cute pink outfit weighing in at about 100 pounds took away all my desire to be back on the road.
I did survive and the pants stretched out enough to at least be able to breathe.  On the way back in, I lamented at the bare spots in my flower beds where gardeners of old had killed things.  I heard about a new nursery ... actually the ONLY nursery in this part of the country ... and thought I might take a ride since they are fairly close.

I was so entranced I completely forgot to take pictures.  Boy would I love to live there!!  Shade trees galore under which bloomed every kind of flower you can imagine.  He even had cactus!!  The nice man wandered around with me, talking about what else ... the heat.  

I found two awesome plants, but of course the pink tag said they were already spoken for.  RATS!!  In the end, I landed two very cool tree-like conifers I'll show you tomorrow.

He loaded them in my truck and off I went.  Unfortunately my air conditioning decided not to work.  For the last week, sometimes when I start up the truck, it works fine.  Then there's the times it throws out something akin to fire and flames.  By the time I got home, I almost ducked my head under the faucet ... it was THAT hot!!  

Even worse, it almost melted my yogurt treat!!!  Since our little town is open again, I decided to do my duty and visit all those I can to help their bottom line.  It's self serve, but they now do all the serving.  Watch out .... it's sold by weight!!  

Instead of my usual candy-filled cup, I opted for fruit.  Who knew it was frozen fruit?  Add to that some caramel sauce and this was the best thing since peanut butter!!
I'm off for an early morning walk, then I'll test my heat levels by planting those two beauties I purchased.  By 10:00 I'll probably be back in my relatively cool house working on some pictures I took in my back yard.  I think you'll like them.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Been To The Store Lately?

As I sit here, my sprinklers are sprinkling away.  My gardeners showed up a day early to repair the valves.  Again I had to turn the circuit breaker off because they could not get the shutoff valve to turn.       My luck was holding as nothing major happened, except for .... well .... that geyser that appeared in the lawn.

Another broken sprinkler, which they fixed post haste.  Now to test every station.  Geyser number two caught Roberto right in the face as he bent over to take a look.  No big deal because it was 103 and he was hot anyway.

Three geyser repairs later, along with one errant sprinkler watering the concrete driveway, we were good to go.  The good news is the geysers were free, as in no charge to fix those.  That made up for the high cost of the six valve repairs.

Next up on my ever increasing list of STUFF to do, was spraying weeds.  I filled my handy dandy mega sized backpack sprayer and headed out across my 2-1/2 acres.  This was probably the extent of my exercise for the last three weeks.  It felt good, mostly because as I march around I yell DIE ... DIE ... DIE to the dandelions, stinging nettle and foxtails.  I was not surprised when my neighbor came over to see if I was okay.
Next up, I headed off to the grocery store for a few necessities, like ice cream, butter and chicken for Cooper.  Have you been to the store lately?  I was pretty shocked that these three half-full bags came to $129.  Is it me or have they raised their prices considerably.  I got 3 roma tomatoes for $4.55, along with a package of low-carb tortillas for $6.  Holy cow .... I'm going to have to change my eating habits considerably.  This is NOT affordable!!
It took less than five minutes to put it all away while I scrutinized the receipt.  The prices at our Save Mart have basically doubled.  It's okay, I need to get back on my no-food diet anyway.

Out here in California, most all the chickens come from Foster Farms.  In order words, if you want chicken, you don't have much choice on the brand.  They used to be much better at processing, but I guess they are trying to keep up with the crazy demand.  This was the worst cleaning job of a chicken I've ever seen.  

The neck was still covered in feathers and honestly looked rotten.  I cut away everything I could and threw it in the trash.  It's only okay because I'm cooking it for the puppies, not me.  It was disgusting with a capital D.

Thank you George Yates for showing me how to cook a chicken on the barbecue.  I held my breath almost the entire 90 minutes because I didn't know if there was enough propane left in that canister.  I had to go check on it every fifteen minutes.  YAY .... it only lasted 88 minutes, but the chicken was done.
I chopped it all up and put it in the freezer for the kids.  A $5 chicken resulted in one container.  Too bad I'm not in Arizona where they do all the roasting and chopping for you.  One container has probably three chickens in it for $15.  SO much easier and the same price per chicken.

I sweltered for the rest of the day, sitting in front of a fan in the living room with the puppies who were hogging all the cool.  I'm too cheap to run the AC so it stayed about 83 in here all day and long into the night.  Actually it was still 83 when I woke up.

I swear I am NOT going to sit on the couch this morning.  I'm going outside for a long walk around the neighborhood.  I'm enough of a hermit that I rarely get out and see or talk to people, especially with the Magic Kingdom shut down.  With this virus stuff, I'm becoming even worse.  Now not only do I rarely go out but I argue with myself all the time.  Maybe some fresh air will help me win the argument!