Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Christmas In May

 I checked my critter cam yesterday to find a HUGE new critter roaming about the back yard.  SURPRISE!!  This being about 5:00 am, I completely forgot the camera was there.  See the big beam of light?  Yup .... that's me checking for skunks while letting the puppies outside.  

This image is part of my education gleaned from the internet about my 5th wheel.  Who knew the walls were stuffed with styrofoam??  I'm sure they call it something else.  This is just a reminder to me when I'm hanging stuff inside.  This guy installed a TV in his bedroom with 1-1/2" screws, which he later found were protruding from the OUTSIDE of the rig.  

Heavy duty velcro is my friend, mostly because I can't see any of these screws holding up much of anything.  That and the single pane windows are the reason I'm looking at shades, but what I really meant was AWNING-type shades for the outside to keep the sun off the windows when I'm parked.  Inside I have blackout shades in a lovely gopher brown color.   I'm going to use window-sized pieces of reflextix (doubled up) underneath the brown shades to keep out the heat, cold and most importantly for me, NOISE.


In the meantime, I've ordered tons of stuff from the internet.  It's just too easy!!  Yesterday, it all came at once, although most of it was due two days ago.  It's CHRISTMAS IN MAY!!!  Yay for me!!!!


I discovered quite by accident ..... again the internet ..... that my B & W hitch requires grease.  Who knew?  Yes I know about the plate requiring lubrication, which is why I bought that silicone ring.  Will wonders never cease ... when I looked underneath, sure enough there is a grease zerk.  Not having a grease gun, I looked them up to find the cost to be more than my little wallet can now bear, since I bought all the stuff you see above!!  

The alternative is to buy this lovely Lucas product and use IT, along with my fingers to smear it around.  Won't THAT be fun!!  To my surprise, this is the ONLY item that came in this HUGE box.  Now I get to clean up the hitch jaws (I don't even know how, other than scrape off the black stuff) and smear away.


Lucky for me (and the Elks) I was also delivered a pair of those expensive black pants I bought, but in KHAKI, a fancy word for tan.  I can't believe how well they fit!!  The Elks will be happy I'm in the correct uniform.

Next to be opened was another big box, but this time it was full of these.  Vent insulators.  Stuff them up inside the 5th wheel vents and they insulate against heat and cold.  Previously I used pillows with a lovely Hawaiian theme, which of course worked great with the Cowboy and Indian decorations.


Other items included the vent screens for the fridge.  There's one other critter I seem to have trouble with and that is wasps.  They build nests everywhere around here.  It's a good thing these attach with zip ties.  I don't think my fingers could take another rip and tear.

I'm off early this morning to make myself presentable.  The fence crew is showing up today to begin work.  Maybe my KSA  (Knight in Shining Armor, better known as handyman/skunk wrangler) needed a little extra cash and will be among those wielding hammers ... or nail guns as the case may be.  I do love a nice nail gun!!



Tuesday, May 4, 2021

The Big Talk

You knew it was coming.  The Big Talk about everything water heater.  Previous big talks in my life usually centered around what was expected of you on the ranch.  Things like if you fall off your horse, you better figure out how to get back on, because if the cattle get away, you will be in BIG TROUBLE!!  I may have told you this story before.

I learned to shinny up that horse's leg like a pro and plop myself back in the saddle.  There was once however ......... my favorite horse Polly was getting on in years.  Even so, she was still fast as lightning.  We took off after a couple of calves trying to flee the field, when she stepped in a hole and went down to the ground.  I remember every second of that fall.  (My first horse here, I was maybe three?)

She landed on my left leg and I couldn't get out from under her.  She was able to stand just as my Dad rode up.  I of course was covered in tears, thinking I had just died.  "Get back on that horse, the cattle are getting away" as he threw me up in the saddle and off we loped at a slightly slower pace.  There was no kid coddling in the old days.  I figured I was lucky to be alive.  

So when it came time for the Big Talk about the HOT WATER HEATER, I was ready Freddy with paper and pencil.  Then I called Bill Richards since he works for a company that sells these trailers.   I have to be honest, Bill and Patsy Richards have the coolest accents ... I just LOVE talking to them!!  So they won the calling lottery this time.

Of course while on the phone, I really needed to be in front of the heater.  Remember that lovely screen I put on to keep wasps out?  Funny ... with the screen on, you can't open the door.  I finally gave it a good yank, which caused the tiny spring to catch in my pinkie cuticle, ripping it wide open from end to end.  As the blood dripped to the ground, Bill began the talk.

Apparently I have a Dometic brand.  I'm hoping the water heaters are better than their refrigerators used to be.  There is no outside ON switch, only the one INSIDE the rig.  I've read so many postings on Facebook about the horrors of hot water heaters, but Bill said (in his best Canadian accent) not to pay any attention to those.  This picture is not my heater.  

At any rate, I now have a better idea of how it works and how to make sure it has water in it before hitting the ON button.  I'm feeling much better about the entire process.  You see in my OTHER rig, I had on-demand hot water.  No water heater to deal with at all, meaning this is all new to me!!  I just don't want it to explode!!


I got to speak with Patsy for a bit too.  I could listen to those accents all day long.  Why is that?  I even loved having to call Tiffin back East because their techs all had wonderful accents!!

By the way, HAPPY ANNIVERSARY to Bill and Patsy!!  May you have many more while riding your new motorcycle!!!

That afternoon, I was happy to see a box at the door.  finally, my extra valve had arrived.  To be honest, I had no clue how to put it on.  I thought maybe it would have to be returned since I couldn't figure out which side to hook up.  

This is the exact reason I ordered it.  See that water on the ground?  The valves leak, apparently a problem on practically every single trailer they make.  When you open the cap, you get sprayed with lovely sewer water.  Luckily in my case, it's just PLAIN water.  I finally got the valve on and replaced the cap.  Now when I open it, THIS valve will keep the water at bay until I hook up the sewer hose.   Yes I will have two valves to open, but it's a small price to pay for staying clean.


Hopefully there won't be any more big talks for awhile.  I'm still picking up stuff here and there for the trailer, like insulated covers to put in the overhead vents to keep out the heat, along with insulated window coverings.  There are so many huge windows, it's bound to get hot inside.  Outside window shades are also on my list, but that will have to wait until I get to the Indio rally.

In the meantime, I caught something HUGE on the critter cam.  I'll show you tomorrow!!



Monday, May 3, 2021

The Critters You DON'T See!!

And you thought I lived alone!!   Today I present to you the OTHER members of my family, since you've already met the skunks, fire ants and gophers.  Meet Mrs. Black Widow.  She's a nighttime visitor who you will rarely see in the light of day.

Sometimes it's scary to think about all the critters you DON'T see!!  I spray a couple times a year for these guys, which seems to keep them at bay.  One evening I went outside with a flashlight and counted 14 having set up camp on my patio alone.  Like the in-laws you really wish would just leave, I was really wishing these guys didn't exist.  

I have to say I've never been bitten by one and they do eat a lot of nasty things like flies and mosquitos, so this one who set up housekeeping out front, was allowed to stay, only because she wasn't between me and the sprinkler control I was heading for.


Also known to haunt my garage and occasionally my patio is the potato bug.  These guys eat the roots of potato plants.  Trust me, there are NO potatoes growing in my garage, nor within 500 miles of my house.  These guys are HUGE, like two inches long, so stepping on them is out of the question.  


They might also be known as Jerusalem crickets.  I'll be honest, this scares me to death!!   I've never gotten close enough to see if this is what they look like, nor is it my intention to EVER do so!!  Now you know where all those creepy alien movies came from.  THIS is why I wish I did NOT live alone!!  Will you get rid of all these visitors would be the first line on the job application.  


It was a quick trip to the store yesterday.  Everything has become very expensive, definitely shortening my grocery list.  Again, all the meat is sky high, but I found some off brand chicken breasts for $2.99 a pound.  

One thing I was looking for was something to clean my stainless steel fridge, which was so dirty you could hardly tell it was stainless.  I've tried lots of things, but nothing has ever worked on the fingerprints.  Since this was the only thing in the store, I figured I would give it a shot.

It took me ten minutes to get the first wipe out of the can, but you know what?  It worked like a charm.  A little messy at first ... it looked kind of like soap when I rubbed it on ... but I kept rubbing a little more and just like that ..... it's a clean shiny fingerprint-free piece of stainless.  Wow ... that was easy!!  Maybe next week I'll do the stove!!


Okay, I'll admit the REAL reason I went to the grocery store is because I decided to try and get off sugar again.  It calls my name incessantly.  I had the ingredients to make the raspberry jello surprise, but forgot one very important factor.  You have to beat the cream cheese FIRST, along with the cream, BEFORE mixing in the jello.

As you may be able to see, when you do NOT do that, you get huge chunks of cream cheese.  I'm not a fan.  I ate ONE and by the time I was done, I had cream cheese stuck to every surface in my mouth.  OMG!!!  I CANNOT EAT THIS!!!  

Every time I opened the fridge door, I stared at the remaining FIVE cups.  I just couldn't!!  A trip to the store included more jello for a second batch.  


I'm happy to say it came out perfect, as I creamed the cream cheese, cream and wannabe-sugar BEFORE mixing with the jello.  Quite tasty!!

In the meantime, my search for the perfect generator continues.  I rather have my heart set on a Honda 2200i, but alas, they are few and far between.  I haven't been able to locate ANY!!  The alternative would be possibly the Firman brand that Costco sells.  It's all about the quiet when it comes to generators, and of course needs to be something I can lift into my truck.  As much as I would love solar, it's on hold for the moment.  

In the meantime, I'm off to check my game camera to see if anyone ELSE came to set up housekeeping in the middle of the night.


Sunday, May 2, 2021

ONE DOWN .........

Once upon a time in a faraway land called San Francisco, they had baseball games at the best facility on the West Coast.  I was a season ticket holder with good seats when they were actually affordable.  They did a lot for their customers back in the day, to keep you going to games and paying the prices as they went up every year.

You actually own the seats, then purchase the tickets, even including the huge concerts they had several times a year.  Some day I'll tell you about the fight I got in to at the Kenny Chesney concert.  Anyway, some of those events were held in the glass-walled apartments across the street.  When I arrived, there were Giants coffee cups everywhere ... on the tables, on the chairs, on the walls ... and I decided I just HAD to have one.  

Okay, I stole it.  Swiped it right into my huge purse when no one was looking and walked right out the door.  It's the only one I savor my morning coffee in while scanning the horizon for skunks and gophers. 


Obviously that also includes throwing the ball.  Cooper is always SO intent!!  Suddenly there was THAT SMELL, followed instantly by a message from my neighbor.  Is that a SKUNK?  Yes, pretty unmistakeable!  And I mean BIG skunk ... like Big Momma big.  There are two times skunks smell that strong.  They either hit a dog more than once, or IT got hit.

I didn't hear any dogs barking, but there was a tractor doing work in an orchard just half a block away, from the same direction as the eau-de-skunk came on the morning breeze.  It must be the tractor that uncovered the hiding hole of my black and white friends.  I can't say as I shed a tear ... I'm just hoping it is gone for good.


In other fascinating news ..... ONE DOWN!!  This one I know for sure.  My Jessie girl is a rat dog, a Jack Russell terrier who in her prime, used to bring me mice, gophers and all things creepy.  She's a hunter this girl.  I watched as she kept sniffing the grass, moving across the lawn.  

I went inside for a second cup of coffee, only to return to see her pounce, grab and shake.  Uh oh!!   I know what THAT means.  Sure enough, there was a lump of fur no longer moving.  I don't know where she actually caught it because there were no holes near this spot.  He got an unceremonious burial in the horse corral.  Maybe now my lawn will remain hole-free and I didn't have to buy any pellets.


Time for lunch!!  Not that I had any real appetite after the morning's activities, but who can resist a grilled cheese sandwich on sourdough?  There's something about that bread.  It makes me dig in the bag to the middle of the loaf and pull out the biggest pieces possible for my ooey-gooey sandwiches.  Come on, admit it, you do the same!!


I was SO looking forward to my tasty lunch, but got slightly distracted by Miss Jessie wandering the outside edges of every room, as has recently become her pastime.  RATS and GOPHERS!!  I burned it!  


I would like to say I enjoyed the rest of the day on the patio, but alas, the eau-de-skunk kept me at bay.  I finished up the main section of this quilt, which now has to wait for a USP delivery of the border fabric.


It's Sunday, meaning time for groceries.  Around here it's best to hit the stores before church lets out and it gets really crowded!  In the meantime, gee ... I guess I can start on another quilt!!!!!


Saturday, May 1, 2021

Paris Fashion Week

Once upon a time in a crime-ridden, completely broke and out of control State, there was a recall of the governor because of his punitive unlawful executive orders.  I have no doubt the State will not be recovering any time soon, but at least once in a blue moon, they do have nice sunrises.  Yesterday was one of those days.

I have to ask who turned up the heat however.  One day it was a lovely 75 degrees, which turned into a 92 degree heat wave in the snap of a finger.  Out came the short shorts I never EVER wear anywhere but at my house.  It's a harkening back to the 60's ... hot pants and short shorts.  I'm sure you can relate.


When you are young and only weight 118 pounds, you can wear anything ... and we did.  There was nothing quite as melodious as these three, since thankfully those horrible patterns of fabric had not yet been invented since Star Wars was only a thought in someone's brain.

As kids that age trying to hold down a job as a secretary to 20 companies in a huge Denver complex, we all purchased fabric (1/3 yard to be exact ... that's 12 inches) and sewed up the side seam.  Instant mini skirt.  We switched tops to make it look like we had more outfits than we really did.


Not to leave out the men, Paris fashion week for them looked something like this.  I've no doubt that even when you men were 21, you wouldn't be caught dead in something like this.  Maybe the guy on the left on a good day when you were visiting the "big city".


I'm sure someone SOMEWHERE is wearing this to a nightclub.  Wouldn't you just die of embarrassment if you were the guy that had to model this???  I think I would have to get paid big bucks to be caught in this on the runway, let alone the street!!


All that brings me to MY shopping spree yesterday.  Apparently being an officer at the Elks Lodge requires a range of outfits which do not currently reside in my closet.  Although it might be rather fun to wear the Halloweenish outfit above (you know Halloween is my favorite holiday), it was not on their "approved" list.  Khaki pants were.

Lucky me, I actually found a store of women's clothing in town that opened at 10:00.  I arrived at the appointed time to find a line out the door.  There must be a sale going on.  Yahoo!

I was helped by a lovely lady who didn't say one word about masks.  How refreshing!!  She found several things for me to try on.  Yes, we actually get to put the clothes ON to see if they fit.  I was needing the color khaki.  I suppose that is open to interpretation.  I took full liberties.  I think the great pair of pants I found are more grey in color, but at least they aren't Levis.  

A little pricey at $79, beggars can't be choosers.  Unfortunately for all of us, big loud flower prints are the hit of the day.  I tried some on because you never know.  In a flash, I definitely KNEW they weren't for me.

That's when the nice lady brought me THIS little black number.  Ugh ... that's not my style either, but I tried it on to make her happy.  OMG ... I was in shock.  This fit so nice and looked like I was on the Paris runway.  I'LL TAKE IT!!!


I should have looked at the price tags.  I ended up with two tops and two pair of pants.  I'm not even going to tell you how much I paid for them.  Let's just say I'll be eating hamburger for the next twelve months and then some.  It's the perfect time for a diet anyway.

I spent the evening saying oh well ... easy come ($$$) easy go ($$$$$$$).  My Jessie girl wanted to snuggle up on the couch, so we did.  She's 15 now, can't hear much at all and can barely see to jump up on the couch.  She deserves a little Mom time.  


It's Saturday ... which means absolutely nothing when you are retired.  It's just another sunny day here in California.



Friday, April 30, 2021

More Play Than Work

I'm still running in "fix-it" mode.  It's really too bad they don't build more Condos around here.  I think it would be SO much easier to just call the Super and have things magically repaired.  Especially when it comes to the sprinklers.

Water is cheap .... I have my own well.  Electricity to keep that well pumping is NOT.  I constantly have to waver on the line of watering the lawn enough to keep it semi green, versus the $$$ going out the door.  I had an early appointment yesterday, so I wrote the gardeners a note and left them two new sprinkler heads.

Interestingly enough, the guy at Horizon Sprinklers told me different ones put out more or less water.  I've been going there for 12 years.  No one ever told me this.  So I bought the ones that would put out the most water in the least amount of time.  

SO ... the gardeners hooked up the first one, but didn't put the dirt back in OR adjust where it sprayed.  I'm not kidding ... it must be rocket science to fill in a hole.  On the second repair, they broke the line it screws in to.  Nope ... not kidding there either.

They left ME a note that someone would come fix it "later".  It makes me want to scream, so I tried sewing as a distraction.  That always ends up with me on the floor.  I mean seriously, how could you not want to get down and play when Cooper does this and barks at you?  He likes to be UNDER things (we are completely under the sewing table), or at least roll the B A L L under things.  We aren't allowed to SAY that word, we can only SPELL it.


 Several hours later I looked out the door.  Uh oh ... the guy fixed the sprinklers and even filled in the holes, but never knocked on the door.  I went outside and turned the sprinklers on to see how they work.  OH LOOK!!!  I'm watering the neighbors roses 45 feet away, not to mention their entire driveway!!

Big sigh ... as I tried the second station.  It was doing a great job of keeping MY concrete driveway and walkway wet.  How nice!!  

I grabbed the little screwdriver gizzy that came with the sprinklers and tried to figure out how to adjust them.  In no time, I was just as wet as the driveway.  I was finally able to adjust them ... kinda sorta ... so most of the water went on the grass.  They still need adjusting, but at least they are good for now.

Back to playing under the table for awhile.  Cooper is so zoned in on that ball that he doesn't even look when I call his name six times!!!  Selfies are not in his repertoire.


I spent the next three hours grumbling over this thin fabric for which I have NO pattern.  I only have a quick secretive photo I took at the shop.  There was a little mistake in figuring out how to make it happen, which resulted in the light colors being 2" shorter than the dark.  More grumbling ensued.

I THINK I'm halfway there.  Now to make the second half mirror the first.  Hopefully there won't be as much grumbling on this section.


In other great news, no critters have been sighted in the last couple of days.  YAY!!!  That means I'm free today to wander off downtown in search of those khaki pants I need for the Elks official "wear".  I have no doubt it will be in vain, but at least I can say I tried when they ask why I'm wearing Levis!!!

Thursday, April 29, 2021

Hot Water and Beef

Well ...... absolutely nothing exciting happened yesterday.  Oh wait ... they picked up my garbage bins at 5:30 am.  That's always good for a few barks from the puppies.  I paid a few bills ... that's always fun because it requires balancing my accounts, the last thing an actual accountant really wants to do!

I checked the game camera to find two videos of me turning the camera on and off.  I'm hoping that means there have been no midnight visitors to the back yard.  Of course that doesn't keep me from making my security guard rounds before letting MY critters outside.

I messed with my back for a few hours, trying to stay sat as long as possible.  I'm about half way there.  Le me just say there will not EVER be any on-the-knees floor scrubbing in my future!!  This is really a pain!

Here was an interesting factoid to come across.  In Arizona, I shop the sometimes expensive Safeway.  If you have their app, you do receive free and discounted stuff, which of course I do.  Here, I shop Save Mart.  That's the one that had no meat under $8.99 a pound, with the good stuff around $12.  Costco is in the same boat.

Wasn't I surprised when I stopped in for a dozen eggs at my little neighborhood Mexican grocery store.  Interestingly enough, it's owned and run by a lovely Asian family, not that it matters.  I did a drive by the meat section just to see.  Whoa ... they actually have whole chickens, unlike Save Mart!

Then I spotted this huge beef loin roast for $2.99 a pound!!!  WHAT???  How can they do that when Save Mart is $8.99 a pound?  Yes I'm sure it's not PRIME quality beef, but who cares?  Okay, I admit this is part of what I feed Cooper with his sensitive stomach.  I actually keep half of it for my tacos and cut the rest up for him.  This will last at least two weeks.


Don't blame it on prime beef (that's the good stuff) ... neither Safeway nor Save Mart sell prime unless it's a big holiday.  They have CHOICE beef.  This actually could be one step below choice, but it tasted pretty darned good to me and was plenty tender since I cooked it in my Instant Pot!!

While I forced myself to sit on the couch all day, I contemplated my hot water heater on the rig.  My other motorhome had on-demand hot water ... meaning there was no tank to mess with.  Now I have THIS monster to confound me from A to Z.  

People have said they empty it after every trip.  Is that necessary?  This guy, to keep from screwing on a garden hose every time, has added this heat proof faucet if you will, to drain the tank.  Looks reasonable.  So here's my question.  If I drain it, how do you fill it back up?  How do you know if it's full before you turn it on, because apparently if it's not, it will burn up almost instantly!!
 

To make it even MORE confusing, I spent an hour reading the book about my rig.  This picture obviously shows an on-off switch.  I've looked not once, but THREE times and there is NO on-off switch on my hot water heater.  What's up with that???


I finally gave up the ghost and watched smugglers get caught at the border on TV before checking out Josh Gates in New Mexico looking for UFO's.  You know, the really important stuff!!!

In the meantime, I'm going to try NOT to read all those Facebook posts about things breaking on these trailer-type rigs.  They are beginning to scare me!!!



Wednesday, April 28, 2021

One Thing I'm Terrible At

Of course there are MANY things I'm not good at, but the one that stands out most to me is fabric selection.  Some people, like Cindy Warner are just amazing at this expensive endeavor.  My Arizona neighbor Shirley is another one.  

I, on the other hand, am terrible at it.  I pick all these fabulous fabrics, cut and paste, only to find they don't look good on the wall.  If I showed you what this REALLY looked like, you would go blind with the dizzying array of lose-your-balance-and-fall-over busyness.  I was off to the quilt shop to find something to fill in the blanks.

As most of you know, this little section of Highway 99 in California is the roughest in the nation.  To make it worse, they moved the lane over 4 feet to the right to allow for construction of the NEW lanes.  That makes it even MORE rough, if that's even possible ... so much so that I actually went the 55 mph speed limit in my truck to keep my teeth intact.

Fifteen cars passed me going at least 65 in lanes barely wide enough.  Where the heck are the cops?  The next section of freeway construction I had to go through was half as long before my turnoff.  SEVENTEEN cars passed me like I was standing still ... while I went 55.  

I never do anything like this, but I actually sent an email to the Highway Patrol.  Where are you guys???  The main substation is actually close by.  Believe it or not, they responded with "we are just shorthanded.  Thank you for driving the speed limit."  Okay then, I guess since there are no cops around, I'll just go as fast as the traffic and pretend I'm playing MarioKart!!  


Teeth still hanging in there, "you have arrived at your destination".  I'm like a kid in a candy store.  I want one of EVERYTHING!  Of course I was INSTANTLY sidelined by this quilt.  I admit, this is a sneaky picture.  You aren't supposed to take pictures unless you buy the material ..... which I did after walking around the entire store three times finding NOTHING of what I was really after.


When I got back home, driving 70 the entire way (heh heh heh), I was again on the search for all things RV.  The more I read about fifth wheels, the more gadgets I need.  The three long screens on the bottom will cover up the holes behind the fridge.  Unlike a household fridge, this one has access to the outside meaning it will become a housing project for wasps, which I seem to have an abundance of.


Next on the list ... for whatever reason, Grand Design sewer clean outs all seem to leak.  That means when you take the cap off, you are covered in lovely perfume before you can even attach the hose.  I noticed this happening when I got home.  

There wasn't anything but water in the tank (lucky me), but the valve had leaked enough to get me wet when I removed the cap.  THIS will allow me to remove the cap and attach the hose while remaining dry even with the leaky GD valve.  I hope it works because it's expensive!!


I'm sure there will be more MUST HAVES, but for now I'm good to go ....... until I see something else!!!

In the meantime, this new critter cam seems to be not as sharp as the last one.  Here's a picture of kitty kitty climbing a 7' tall fence with almost a single bound.  It's amazing to me how athletic kitties can be.  He just crawls right up the fence using his claws.  What an acrobat!!


There has been so sign nor smell of the civvy cats.  I'm hoping they have moved on to better hunting grounds.  I am NOT however, counting my chickens.


Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Always Test Drive Your Guest Shower

 It was a busy as a bee kind of day.  I usually have trouble finding something to do, but yesterday things kind of fell into place.  At last I was able to pop my back ... half way.  I'm in much better shape I'm happy to say!

Of course it didn't last too long.  I had just been sitting on the patio when I went inside and got distracted.  A mere thirty minutes later I exited the back door to find THIS!!!  WHAT?  This wasn't there 30 minutes ago!  How in the world can they do this that fast?  

I even got out my tape measure!  This little bugger dug up a hill 15 inches across and 3 inches high.  Count them, that's FIVE HOLES!!!  I guess this is payback for smashing all his tunnels in the flower bed.


Time to test drive the shower for my guest of the day.  I hooked up a garden hose and turned the water on full blast.  Yup ... the shower works just fine.  Too bad someone left the water on and it overflowed, flooding everything.


I don't know how in the world they do that.  Surely they are spitting out dirt right and left.  At least he's gone for awhile.  In the meantime, now I know why I have all those bare spots in my back lawn.  These guys must have been having a heyday while I was gone.  Now I also know why some of my garden flowers are dying a horrible death.


I didn't exactly thank them when I shut the water off, resulting in a nice shower for me.  I've never been able to figure out WHY these things are on the end of my faucets.  Are they some kind of pressure relief valve?  Turn the water off too fast and it comes squirting out the side, blasting you to at least a 50% degree of wetness.  

Has anyone seen these before?  I've taken two off the outside faucets and looked for replacements, but so far I haven't found anything similar.  Just wondering why they are there.  When you unscrew the end piece, it looks like a regular faucet.  They all leak terribly, so I would like to find replacements if I really need them.


Since I was already wet, I went to take a shower in the guest bath.  I had just sealed the grout in mine and the 24 hour wait was on.  Let me say you should always test drive your guest bathtub/shower.  I've not used this one since I bought the house.  

It took me ten minutes to figure out HOW to switch from the faucet to the shower head.  I should have called Cyndae since she uses it regularly.  It does have a shower curtain, but truly that doesn't contain any water.  I got blasted in the face the second I turned the knob since hard water had made the jets spray every direction except down.

To make matters worse, the water never really got hot.  What's up with THAT?  Once I got out, it took me 15 minutes to clean up all the water that was everywhere but in the tub.  I'm certainly not doing THAT again!!

In the meantime, I finally received the second screen for the 5th wheel.  Although it took me a few tries to get that tiny little spring on the bar to hold it in place, this one fits.  After finding a wasp nest in the heater vent on my other rig, I decided these were a must have.  I've got two other openings that need to be covered, if I can find the screens.  At something like $6, these are a cheap investment.


I spent the afternoon running in and out the front door checking on the sprinklers.  Turn one section on, then run to see if all the water was going where it was supposed to.  Run back to turn it off, then fix the sprinklers.  Repeat ... twelve times.

At last after replacing sprinkler heads, I relaxed on the couch and took a gander at my $20 flowers.  Surprisingly, they are still doing VERY well.  I even catch a whiff of roses every now and then.


Since I've started three quilts and have gotten nowhere, I'm off to the quilt store today.  That should give the gopher plenty of time to rebuilt his castle and shore up the moat.

Monday, April 26, 2021

Slow As Molasses

That's how it went this morning as I was trying up upload that video.  I finished my entire cup of coffee before it finally showed on the screen.  Many times my days go like that, and yesterday was a good example.

Have you ever watched that baseball game with the other team up in the 7th inning, hitting home run after home run until the score is something like 117-2?  It's just the longest two hours EVER!!  I started off by scrubbing the shower floor and lower walls.  I didn't get far before my back went kaput and I could barely stand up.  Well that's not good!!!

I'm very diligent about doing my own chiropractic adjustments, which only seem to work when sitting in the old Class A rig in that perfect position so I can reset the bones.  Sadly, no other chair seems to do the trick.  No worries, I'll try both my Jeep and truck.  One of them will hit the reset button for me I'm sure.

In the meantime, I had ribs in the fridge that needed to hit the smoker.  I hobbled all bent over with one pan at a time to get them going.  The heavy iron table keeps the door shut tight since this variety does not have a latch.  


Time went by just like that baseball game.  I spent way too much time on my phone, meaning my bill will increase, along with 35 trips to the fridge.  That resulted in one batch of homemade ice cream.  Just what I need ..... more sugar!!  That's probably why you see the big mess of grease on the ground.  When almost done, I wrap the ribs in foil and return them to the smoker.  

These ribs were rather plump like me, causing all that fat to melt.  Wish I could do that.  Anyhoo, I picked up the package too fast and it all ran out on the ground.  That ought to bring a lot of skunks around, not to mention the fox!!  The dogs went crazy as I shooed them back in the house.


During the long wait for rib perfection, I received one of my orders.  They call this a flying insect screen for the hot water heater exhaust.  For me, it works to keep the wasps OUT of the place best known for catching them on fire.  

Too bad it doesn't fit.  It's WAY too big at 8.5" x 6".  As happens sometimes with Amazon, they gave me a refund and told me to keep it.  Rather than throw it away, if you could use this, let me know and I'll send it to you.  I had them on my other rig and they worked great.  No wasp nests were found.


In the meantime, still waiting, I began the hole digging process to replace the sprinkler head that waters my door and the gardeners did not fix.  I now have a nice hole at my front door, perfect to catch that burglar sneaking around the yard.  Or maybe a skunk!!

At long last the bell rang and the ribs were done.  Two big slabs that I cut into four pieces came off the racks and into eating range.  Too bad for me these do not work well in the aluminum pans.  The cleanup was epic.  

On the other hand, I ate half of this slab in the blink of an eye.  Five hours of tending, testing and tasting for five minutes of eating.  With pork like this, who needs that expensive beef??


I was slow as molasses to retrieve the camera, forgetting it was even out there.  In return, it was slow as molasses uploading this video.  You will see why my first thought was OH NO ... here we go again!  

I could see something black on black walking along the fence.  After much scrutinization, I've determined this is the kitty kitty kind, not the stinky kitty kind.  It's hard to tell, but it's walking away, meaning there's no big skunk tail blowing in the wind.


I've increased the settings to get better pictures, so I will see what saunters by this morning.  I even left a nice piece of turkey lunchmeat as a treat.

NOW ..... it's ribs for breakfast!!!


Sunday, April 25, 2021

Now You See It ... Now You Don't

I wish I could say that about the skunks and gophers!!  Alas, they are still roaming free in my back yard zoo.  I suppose it's a good thing they only come out at night when I'm at least TRYING to sleep.  I'm sure I heard them laughing at me, which is why it took two hours to nod off last night.

I didn't really have much on the day's menu.  I'm still working on the shower.  Trying to get old grout clean is a chore.  I've no idea what possessed me to start THAT project.

The next Now You See It, which you don't because I didn't take the picture, was the hitch on my Jeep.  Since I'm not towing it any more, there's no use leaving my hitch attached just so someone can run into it. On second thought, that actually would protect the plastic bumpers they now put on cars.


It really wasn't hard to figure out and came off in three big pieces.  This was a Roadmaster hitch, one of the easiest I've ever seen as far as hooking and unhooking a tow vehicle.  Not that I really need any more junk in my garage, but I think I'll keep it for awhile.  

Okay, I know that's a trait I got from my Dad.  Keep absolutely EVERYTHING because some day you may need it.  That probably explains the 40 pair of Levis I have in my closet that I wore in high school.   No, I'm not kidding. 


I have to say it was rather a messy job.  This hand is clean compared to the other one.  I did have a moment of oh-that's-cool when I finally figured out how to turn the hitch to remove it from the frame.  People who invent this kind of stuff are magicians!!


With that done, I wandered the house looking for something to keep my brain occupied.  That involved trying to figure out why I got a phone call that my Arizona garbage service would be turned off if I didn't pay.  I knew I had a credit, I just had to convince THEM of that.  

Another hour went by double checking on Amazon refunds.  It's why I hate ordering stuff on-line.  Like the screen to keep wasps out of the hot water heater vent that was 2 inches too big all around.  By the way, Amazon has finally gotten the memo about sending small stuff in boxes big enough for a body.  I'm now receiving all their packages in cheap thin brown paper bags.  I'm pretty sure they are saving a bundle on THAT!!

Suddenly the doorbell rang.  IT'S HERE!!!  My replacement camera.  I have to say all of these cameras are pretty cheaply made.  At least this one came from the U.S.  Also inside the box was a letter from the owner of the family owned company.  It said they were having trouble staying alive in today's economy (with covid and all) and please write a review on Amazon to help keep them in business. 

Apparently that worked, since there are well over 4,000 reviews for this camera.  I'm hoping it works as good as they say.  

Also while scanning through the maze of paperwork I discovered my rechargeable batteries cannot be used.  That's weird!!  So I loaded it up with 8 regular AA batteries.  I now wonder if that's why the OTHER camera went haywire.  Something about the rechargeable batteries??  Who knows.  

It also said to remove all the little plastic covers over the lenses, which I did.  I wonder if there were plastic covers on the old one.  I double checked.  Sure enough there was still one hanging on.  Nice of them to let me know I should have peeled that off.  It was probably there, but in Chinese instead of English.


I am now back to scanning the jungle that is my back yard to see just who might be invading Cooper and Jessie territory NOW!!  I'm keeping my fingers crossed since I haven't smelled any eau-de-skunk lately.  I'm hoping I DON'T see them!!


Saturday, April 24, 2021

Gopher Revenge

I must say I'm loving the weather here.  Cool down to 45 at night and only up to the low 70's during the day.  Mostly I love it because neither my heater nor AC units are running causing my electrical bill to skyrocket.   Especially in light of the fact that PG&E is now going to charge everyone in the state for the cost of the lawsuit they lost over the fire that burned down an entire town.  

Anyhoo .... I wandered out in the back yard to double check on the ant hills.  Yup they are still GONE!!  Wait .... what's this?  Another gopher hole, this time in the flower bed.  


And another .... and ANOTHER!!  FIVE GOPHER HOLES!!!  It's the revenge of the gophers for flooding their little castle in the grass.  There were so many holes, I thought it might be the skunks.  Nope ... it's gophers.  

So I stomped on each and ever one, finding the line between holes and smashing them with relish!!  Now I have all these depression trails in the flower bed.  Oh well, better than gophers.  And so the NEW war begins!!!!  I've no idea how to fight these guys other than watering them until they move to my neighbor's house.  You know, they are just too cute to come to some demise.


Much as I dislike going to Home Depot, it was time.  I think it has to do with the fact that you park at the ENTER door, walk clear to the far end of the store to find your items, check yourself out (only one cashier here) and go out the OUT door to find you are parked clear across the parking lot at the ENTER door.  I walk at least a mile every time I go there.

THIS time I parked at and went in the OUT door.  They don't care for that much ... going against the grain and all.  They also said I had to wear a mask, so I put it on and pulled it down under my chin.  The sign didn't say I had to wear it on my face.  I know, I'm a rebel.

I spent the rest of the day ... literally like 5 hours ... cleaning out the cracks in the shower walls.  This was an epic job requiring the use of a grout brush and a hair dryer.

Once super clean (and I knew very dry) I re-caulked the outside seams.  Luckily I didn't cut off too much of the tip and did a pretty good job, if I do say so myself, only because I read the directions that said to cut the tip at an angle.  

I even got pretty good at smoothing with my finger.  Sadly, that finger had my longest nail on it, which is now stuffed like a jalapeƱo with cream cheese.  Boy is that caulking hard to get off!  By the time I got done, I had it all over my fingers, palms and even my elbows.  It peals your skin off when you discover it after having dried.  Ask me how I know!! 


My repair job looks 100% better than before and since it's especially made for bathrooms, guaranteed to be waterproof, it should do the trick.  When it dries, I will begin the mega chore of cleaning the tile grout and sealing it not once, but twice with this stuff.  

Hmmmm I better read the directions to see if this is waterproof.  I forgot to check.  I'm also VERY happy that the other shower is in a bathtub that does NOT need to be caulked.


I wonder if gophers have all these housing repairs since their little abode got wet in the last flash flood!!  The weather forecast says there will be more flooding VERY soon!!