Wednesday, May 31, 2017

It's Raining!!!

Well for heavens sake.  Wouldn't you know, it's blast off day and it's raining.  Here I spent all that time and effort washing and cleaning the rig and in fifteen minutes on the road it will look like I never touched it.  Oh well ... c'est la vie!!!  Maybe a little extra water will green up my lawn!!

I try really hard not to go anywhere on Magic Kingdom Tuesday.  I need all the strength I can muster for the peasants and the Kingdom in general.  When your girlfriends that you haven't seen in ages call up and want to go to lunch for your birthday, plans change.

We stopped in at a local Mexican Restaurant, mostly for the margaritas, which is good, because the food is less than wonderful.   Grandson Braden came along for the fun and excitement of spilling a full glass of lemonade on the table and floor.  He's such a sweetie, you can't be mad!!  The service wasn't much better than the food ... it took 45 minutes to get two tacos each, an hour to get extra napkins since ours were soaking wet, and we never did get a check.  It was all good though, because the strawberry margaritas made up for everything!!
An hour later I was off to the Magic Kingdom for a glass of wine ... my sendoff since I won't be back for a few months.  That's probably more alcohol than I've had in six months ... all in one day.   I had a wonderful time listening to the stories the Knights tell.  Sadly, it was time to head down to the Castle dungeon for Bingo.  

It was a rather somber time since Knight Ken was no longer with us.  I would always dance around with him in the safe where we keep our supplies.  He will be missed, that's for sure.  I always gave him a bad time about buying pizza for the crew's dinner.  He said that was fine if I went to retrieve it from Costco.  So last night, I went to Costco, bought four large pizzas and delivered them to the crew in his honor.  We all high-fived our pizza slices and thanked Ken for all his hard work.  It was fitting.

Surprisingly, the masses were rather pleasant, and actually instituted a fit of laughter that kept the Castle Lawyer in stitches.  One lady came up and asked if you had to be present to get your hand stamped for the hot ball.  Think about it ..... yeah, I didn't think it was that funny either.  I guess it had more to do with the fact she was an Assistant District Attorney.  

One of the other benefits of working Bingo, when it's your birthday, you get ten pull tabs.  Everyone gets them on their birthday week.  So far in seven years, I've won about 75 cents.  Last night I hit the jackpot!!  THREE DOLLARS!!  I would have been ahead since those tickets actually cost $2.50.  I'm RICH ..... RICH I tell you!!!  

So since the girls were going such a good job handling the cash register and keeping the peasants in a peaceful mood, I slipped out early to check on Miss Jessie.  She keeps pulling one bandage off, even with the head gear.  Luckily, it has healed the fastest.  In the next couple of days, I should be able to dispense with the bandage I keep having to reset six times a day.  She's walking really well, barely limping.  I think I can FINALLY sleep in a real bed tonight.

This morning I will finish packing everything and get on the road.  I'm kind of wishing I had another margarita to calm my nerves.  Just kidding, I would NEVER do that!!  I'm expecting it will take three days to get to Lost Horse Ranch.  I'm not big on really long driving days ... mostly because of Jonathan.  Birds are not all that hardy when it comes to long days trying to hang on to a perch while bumping along the highway.  

Happy Trails ... I'll see you down the road.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

I Smashed A Tomato!!

Time always seem to fly by when you least expect it.  It's always in short supply when I need more of it.  Here it is almost time to take off and I feel like I'm WAY behind.

It's going to be a challenge with Miss Jessie in the rig.  It scares her when we first take off, so leaving the cone on is a bad idea.  She jumps up and down on everything, running from one end to the other.  Once on the road, she calms down a bit.
Since I almost ran out of horse tape, I picked up some REAL dressings for her two legs.  Not that she's happy about me changing anything, or that changing really needs to happen.  The bandages just seem to fall off.  I'm sure that's operator error, as I'm afraid to get them too tight.
We're down to two small ones now, making her mobility much better.   Although she growls like a banshee, she has been very tolerant of this whole deal.    She's only bit me once.
The tire pressure check went well, nothing blew up in my face.  I have a very large portable compressor I drag out to the rig for tire filling.  It's LOUD and scary.  I read something on the internet once about making sure the water is out of the tank.  What water??  My plan is to meet a nice gentlemen who will take care of all that for me so I can worry about something else.  So far that's not working out so well!!

I do have one valve stem, inside tire, that doesn't want to register on my tire pressure thingy gizzy.  I swear I let more air OUT than I put in.  After several tries, I think it's okay pressure wise.  I have a tire monitoring system, but those inside tires do not register correctly since the valve stem needs to be adjusted.  I'm afraid to do it ... I might make it so air leaks OUT instead of staying in.  

With nothing else going on, here's a couple of pictures from many moons ago.  I won't tell you exactly HOW many years ago this was taken.  That's my Mom and me on good old bald-faced Pico.  I've no idea who took these at the ranch with a polaroid camera.  We didn't have a camera.  

Notice the rope under my leg?  Everyone carried a rope on their saddle.  You never knew when you might need one.  Years later as I was crossing a river, my horse went down in quicksand.  One of the cutest cowboys ever, grabbed his rope and snatched me and my horse from the water.  

At any rate, when we were forced to move from Lake Isabella (before it became a lake) we had a choice of two ranches.  One in Carson City Nevada and one here in California.  Carson City had the nicest house.  California had the nicest set of cattle scales and corrals.  You can guess which one won out.  Th saddle Mom rode was handmade in Bakersfield ... I still have it.

Here's a weird piece of trivia.  Cattle LOVE tomatoes.  Anytime we could get free feed for the cattle, my dad was all over it.  We moved maybe 50 head down to a field where tomatoes had been grown, and it was time to bring them back.  I was riding Pico and happened to have my brand new straw hat on.  

One calf turned back.  My dad said GET HIM!!  So Pico and I raced down the canal bank at breakneck speed.  Our horses were "cattle" horses ... old time cutting horses, who could stop on a dime and turn back a calf.  The calf stopped, Pico stopped and I went sailing off over his head into the biggest tomato in the field.  

Pico stopped and came back to me, but I was crying so hard it scared him.  I had no idea if I was hurt, but I had just crushed my hat!!!  My dad came running up saying "are you hurt" as he threw me back on the horse.  Well I thought I was, but apparently I was okay, because off he went after the cattle.
I think I'm about seven in this picture.  The summers were hot here, getting up to 113 in the shade, which is why I have shorts on.  Check out my saddle!!  It's just my size and even has tapaderos on the stirrups.  That's a wide piece of leather wrapped around the front so your foot doesn't go through the stirrup when your horse runs off.  This is Polly ... my brothers horse.  She was fast ... a bit of a runaway, depositing all our cousins who came to ride, on the side of the road as she raced back to the barn.  It was great fun!!
As I think back over the years, I'm pretty thankful I lived to tell the stories.  There are LOTS of them. I'll relate a few more as time goes on.  As for now, I'm having another birthday lunch and then it's off to the Magic Kingdom of Bingo.  WOOHOO!!!

Monday, May 29, 2017

The Dreaded Cone Of Shame!!

The good news:        I finished packing everything but the fridge/freezer food.
The bad news:          Jessie returned to the cone of shame!

There is no longer a big pile of boxes and "stuff" stacked near my back door.  I was finally able to get everything packed yesterday morning, except for some clothes and shoes and dog food and people food and camera equipment and ...... hmmmm maybe I'm not as ready as I thought!!

Once that was done, I began the extraction of Jessie's feet from the bandages.  Poor baby girl ... the surgical tape they used on her thin shaved skin just didn't want to let go.  I actually had to use olive oil to get it to release.  For obvious reasons, she wasn't too happy about that.

After another hour, I was able to remove the big bandages.  Both her legs look good and are healing nicely.  I cut some soft T-shirt material to wrap around the stitches, then used my horse tape to keep it in place.  Honestly, I wasn't too happy with my doctoring skills.
The second I was done, she madly began licking her feet.  I can only imagine it was to remove every last vestige of glue from the tape and to relieve the itchy feeling.   At long last, she settled down and left the bandages alone.  YAY!!  At least for the moment, I figured I did not have to watch her every second.  

I did a sweep of the house, not of the broom type, and set all the thermostats so they would not turn on unless it was 86 degrees inside (which has never happened), so the sprinklers can run one more day a week without breaking the bank.  Run both at the same time all summer and I'd be in the poor house.  

I also set the sprinklers up, but honestly, I like the sign that said "Our grass is brown because there is a drought.  Conserve water."  
With Jessie basically leaving her legs alone, I left the head gear on the table as we all crashed on the couch again.  I've decided it's not the comfortable couch that gives me the good night's sleep, rather the Benadryl I've been taking for these crazy allergies.  Try as I might, I just couldn't get comfortable last night.  

It was about three hours in when I heard the telltale signs of licking.  Yup ... I'm a light sleeper!!  I arose immediately to find Jessie had pulled the T-shirt material from under the wrap.  Not yet down to the stitches, but getting VERY close.   NOOOOOOOOOO rang throughout the house.  

Since I don't have a lot of horse tape left, I opted for scotch tape to keep the bandage intact until morning.  The cone of shame came into being instantly.  She wasn't too happy about that at all!!  Nor was I, since every time she moved, I now heard the scrape of plastic against the cushions.  It was a long night!!  When it was time to get up, I watched in amazement as the bandage just fell to the floor.  I need to take wrapping lessons from Nurse Patty.

With new material and horse tape cut in half to better fit her leg, she was rebandaged.  I imagine it might have put pressure on a different spot, making her a little uncomfortable in the beginning.  The cone of shame was reattached.  I'm bound and determined THIS bandage won't come off for a couple of days.  I don't know how long it takes dissolvable stitches to dissolve, but I hope it's soon!!  

Poor baby follows me around everywhere I go now, running into furniture and me.  I took a look at the back foot, and it too will require replacement soon.  Other than that, she's doing well and eating like a horse.  
Today is tire pressure day.  It always bothers me to use my big air compressor.  In the old days of rock crushing plants and trucks bigger than my house, there was an accident when someone was airing up a tire.  The thing is, you can't hook it up without paying attention.  Thinking about your girlfriend or your weekend plans is NOT a good idea.  You just might overfill the tire to such an extent that it explodes in your face, releasing the steel ring that will break your arms in several places, not to mention your face.  It happened. 

The second time involved a pickup truck.  As I got out, I heard a hissing noise.  I leaned down to the back tire to see if that's where it was coming from, when the tire exploded.  Thankfully, it missed my head, but my ear drums will never be the same.  It's scary stuff, but it has to be done.  Not that I have bad tires, I don't.  They are still in excellent shape.  My brain however, still remembers the BOOM.  I will be extra EXTRA careful!!

Sunday, May 28, 2017

The Couch Tradition

Yesterday was a momentous day.  I did absolutely NOTHING!!  I've had nothing days before, but yesterday was epic.  I didn't clean the house ... I didn't do laundry ... I didn't mess with the sprinkler system (although I probably SHOULD have) ... I didn't even cook.

What I DID do was try out Mike's Hard Lemonade ... Black Cherry flavor.  You know those Elks raffles they have at every single dinner meeting?  I actually won a case of this stuff.  I'd rather won a case of Pepsi, but not wanting to look a gift horse in the mouth, I accepted it with a smile.  Now I just have to find someone to dump it on .... I mean someone to gift it to.

Last night I tried the first bottle with my leftover lemon chicken.  I must say it didn't quite meet my expectations.  The two flavors clashed dramatically!!  The fizz of what first tastes like kool-aid, then turns into a terrible rendition of black cherries, did nothing for the lemon/cream chicken.  But wait ... there are three more flavors to try!!

In the old days of motorcycles and ride all day, put yourself away wet, I downed a few Jack Daniels lemonades that were considerably tastier.  Being a biker chick doesn't make you a hard drinker ... I always went for the sissy drinks.  This was not one of them.  Surely I can find SOMEONE who will drink just about anything!!
I spent almost all day working on my needlepoint.  Having finished quite a bit, I was feeling pretty accomplished.  That's when I fell asleep and missed the Giants baseball win over Atlanta.  It's a great city Atlanta ... my friend from work, his brother and I flew there to watch the Giants win the playoffs for the World Series.  

We left a game in San Francisco and drove to San Jose where we spent the night in the airport.  Yeah, that was loads of fun as we listened to the "suspicious luggage" warning every ten minutes!!  We arrived at our hotel to a staff of Atlanta Braves fans who booed us every time we walked by.  

After visiting the World of Coca Cola Museum (taste testing 200 drinks sold around the world) and then walking through Centennial Olympic Park water fountains where kids play, we screamed at the top of our lungs when the Giants WON the series and were off to the final show.  Upon arriving back at the hotel, we gave everyone a pretty hard time about us winning.  They were all good sports!!

If you ever go to Atlanta, be sure and check out Coca Cola.  They have drink dispensers with samples of the best sellers from all over the world.  Some taste wonderful ... some pretty bad, like Mike's Hard Lemonade.  

As for sleeping on the couch, it may become a tradition in my house.  For the second night in a row, I had a WONDERFUL night's rest, in spite of the tight quarters with two puppies.   I'm going to do this more often!!

So today is D-Day for Jessie's leg dressings.  The zebra stripes will be removed shortly, if I can keep her still enough.  In the absence of dressings, I've cut up an old T-shirt and found my horse wrap to keep it in place.  The stitches are all dissolvable and should be gone in a week or so.  I'm not looking forward to this.  Miss Jessie is the weirdest dog I've known.  She's become terribly attached to those dressings and doesn't want them removed.  It's a hoarding kind of thing.  
With just a few days until we are launched off into the wild blue yonder again, I really need to get cracking on the last of the packing and tire pressure checks (one of my least favorite things to do).    Did I ever tell you about that time the tire exploded?  

Saturday, May 27, 2017

I Can't Believe I Did That!!

Sometimes I even surprise myself.  As bad as I have felt over the last few days due to allergies I've never had before, I didn't expect to get the rig washed before leaving for Arizona.  Yesterday turned out to be a beautiful, cool, overcast morning ... perfect for washing something as big as a house.  When you're my age, that can be a pretty daunting task.  Surely I could have found something better to do!!
There's no use washing it at all unless I crawl up on the roof and clean it first.  The littlest bit of rain washes all that dirt down the sides, making nice zebra stripes on the black paint.  Remember that amazing two-for-one rubber sweeper thingie I got at the big tent in Quartzsite?  Well just so you know, I actually DO put it to use occasionally.  It's perfectly lightweight and cleans the roof rather well with minimal effort.  I'm all about minimal effort when it comes to this beast.
That's when I saw it.  YIKES!!!  Houston, we have a problem.  The plastic seal over the back is lifting and coming apart.  Ugh ... I'm clairvoyant you know ... I see another big repair bill in my future.
Good grief ... I have NO idea how to fix this.  Well I actually do have a couple of ideas, but I'm pretty sure you all will tell me that duck tape and Gorilla Glue are not the solution.  If you have any ideas, please pass them along.  I'm hoping my friend/mechanic/construction guru Mr. Chance in Tucson can fix it, otherwise I'll have to go see La Mesa again.  This may solve the mystery of the water on the carpet that I thought came from the slide topper.
Finally off the roof, I began the huge task of washing the beast.  Down one side and up the other, I thought about stopping, but seemed to have a reserve of energy from the cool morning air.  I kept going.   Wash, squeegee, wipe .... wash, squeegee, wipe.  

Then, with only the front left, I took a quick break for some sustenance of the sugary kind, which gave me another boost.  I finished the whole thing.  I can't believe I did that!!  I've never done it all in one day before ... course I've never had a box of Sees Candy around before either!!  I still have the wheels to go ... maybe I'll tackle those tomorrow.

There's a sense of accomplishment there, albeit brief, for as soon as the wind and rain return, I'll have to do it all over again.  For now, I'm headed to the medicine cabinet for Advil, Deep Heat and whatever else I can find to ease the pain!!   

Friday, May 26, 2017

Zebra Stripes

Hardwood floors are hard.  That's my little nugget of information for the day, in case any of you had any doubt.  On the other hand, my couch just might be a better sleep than my bed.

My poor Miss Jessie hobbled around pretty well considering she only has two usable legs.  Her appetite returned, most probably because she got canned food ... her favorite!!  She spent a good part of the morning sleeping on the couch while I got ready to attend a funeral.   Unfortunately, she had to wear the cone of shame, but it didn't seem to bother her that much.
By the time I got back home and let her out, she was wagging her tail and jumping around a little ... as much as you can on two legs.  Don't you think her zebra stripes are attractive?  This is her second favorite spot to hang out ... on the back of the couch.  She must be feeling much better to climb up there.
The funeral for Ken was the nicest I've ever attended, but the longest.  I don't know about you, but I'm not a funeral person.  Here at the church there were three separate celebrations.  The first being the Elks Remembrance service, followed by the church service, with that followed by Military Honors.  I've not been involved with the last one before.   What a great send off Ken received from his fellow Honor Guard brothers.  

Three volleys were fired outside and his great grandchildren gathered around the rifle, retired in his honor.  The last song played was The Saints Go Marching In as we all clapped and sang at the top of our lungs.  I could just see Ken smiling and dancing along with us!!  
Back home, Miss Jessie was doing even better.  I can't quite say the same for me.  I was exhausted from too many sleepless nights in a row.  I finally crashed on the lovely hardwood floor at 9:00.  There will be no bed for awhile, as Jessie will jump down and is sure to hurt something.  That didn't last long though ... it was something akin to sleeping on a brick.  

The trouble is, there's just not enough room for spread-out Jessie, Cooper and me on the same couch. After lots of growling and moving about, I got three inches of the outside edge along with one arm rest, while the kids got the entire rest of the soft cushions.  It was better than the floor, so I didn't complain.  Amazingly, I only woke up once.  My alarm clock, a wet gooey ball stuffed in my face followed by little "throw the ball" growls went off at 4:30 am.  Not rejuvenated by any means, but I sure feel better than yesterday.  

In between all the goings on, I was able to get new tires for the Jeep.  Although I wanted duplicates of the original ones, there were none to be had, not to mention the extra $500 tacked on to the price.  Still, these babies ran close to $1,000.  I probably could have come up with something cheaper, but my Dad always said to buy the best tires you could afford since your life depended on them not blowing out or coming apart.  Of the last four I bought at Costco, two blew out while I was on the freeway.  I got these from a local small business owner I know, who appreciated my business.
Although I really would like a do-nothing day, the rig needs a wash badly, so that will be my morning activity.  Maybe I can slip in a few winks this afternoon.  Right .... good luck with THAT Nancy!!

Thursday, May 25, 2017

My Girl Is Doing Good!!

What a couple of days it has been!  The Magic Kingdom went reasonably well except for the gal who tried to bite the Castle Lawyer's head off because she told her to wait her turn.  Some people are just rude and there's nothing we can say or do to change that.  It's a hazard of the position.

Mostly it seems there was just a little too much alcohol flowing around the masses.  One of the workers (I'll call him Chimney because he's always going outside for a smoke) forgot to come and get the jackpot money for his winner until three games later.  That had everyone in an uproar when I said I had already paid out the money.  He got a little dicey with me, whereupon I told him he should really be quiet before I bonked him on the head.  He acquiesced.

We finally discovered he should have requested the payout THREE games earlier.  Case solved, the lady got her winnings.  Patience is a virtue required for my position ... unfortunately it's not my forte!!

The next morning bright and early I dropped Miss Jessie off at the Vet's office.  I had a few questions about the $792 estimate.  "I" thought it must be for both surgeries AND the teeth pulling and cleaning.  As usual, I was wrong.  They forgot to include the two surgeries on her legs.  THAT estimate came in at other $700.  I was livid and steam was coming out of my ears.

I guess I'll have to take her elsewhere.  You guys are pricing yourselves out of the market.  I can get it done for MUCH less at Santa Fe Pet Hospital (although that's not my favorite place).  I raised such a stink that the Vet came out himself to discuss it.  It's just an estimate he said.  Funny, I've never EVER paid less than the estimate I was given.

I know you have expensive equipment to pay for, but this is unaffordable.  $1500 just isn't going to hack it!!  He promised it would be less than the estimate and I could pay over several months.  As fast as the cancerous tumor was growing, Jessie probably wouldn't survive if I didn't do it, so I bit the bullet really hard and said go ahead.

My poor baby came home in really sad shape.  I made a big bed for her on the living room floor, where she, Cooper and I slept last night.  Not really slept ... she was pretty restless and wouldn't stay down.  She wanted to be in her spot on the couch.
I finally gave her another pain pill, hoping that would help her sleep.  We were up at 4:00 ... she actually walked to the door to go outside.  Good girl Miss Jessie!!  She ate like a horse ... I slipped another pain pill and some antibiotics into her food ... and parked herself on the couch.  I'm sure she will sleep all morning, like normal, while I'm at the funeral.   She's not going to like that cone of shame thing though.
What about the bill you ask?  It's amazing what a lot of bitching can achieve ... maybe not in all cases, but in this case the end result was a bill for $700, less than HALF of the original estimate.  It's still a lot of money, but I feel much better that Miss Jessie got the treatment she needed and I will be sleeping on a BED (which I can now afford) in my new house instead of the floor.

So there you have it ... I'm playing nursemaid for the next four days until the bandages come off.  He got all of the back leg cancer and much of the front leg, plus took out two really bad teeth.  She's resting comfortably.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Counting My Blessings

I think this is one of the craziest weeks I've ever had.  Let me recap:  two armed robberies, one prison escape, one home burglary (caught one guy, other still on the loose), all within two miles of my house .... kid tries to steal stuff from my garage, one big accident on Hwy 101 in Morgan Hill, another big rig runs off the road on Pacheco Pass and our most beloved Bingo manager Ken passes from a major heart attack.

To make things even worse, in the morning about 10:00 I heard a big explosion.  About a mile from my house a big rig carrying gasoline took the 25 mph offramp at an excessive rate of speed and flipped the truck over, which immediately exploded in a fireball.  The fuel went everywhere, including down the drains.
Damage ended up being less than expected as 30 foot flames exploded out of the drains, melting the sides of a couple of fast food places.  Luckily the gas station right across the street did not sustain any damage.  Unfortunately, the driver died.  When the flames were finally put out, the truck was literally melted into a blob on the pavement.  You couldn't recognize it at all.  
When I finally went to the Magic Kingdom last night, I passed another bad accident just five minutes from my house.  A pickup pulled out in front of another pickup going 55 mph.  No one was paying attention.  Thankfully, no one was badly injured.  I sat in the middle of the highway with my emergency flashers on to slow traffic until the Sheriff's Department arrived.  

Adding to my stress level big time, my Jessie girl requires immediate surgery on two of her legs, both having large growths on them which I assume to be the cancer they found last summer.  The third surgery will be removal of two teeth that seem to be bothering her quite a bit.  I'm definitely NOT looking forward to that as I take her in this morning.  
So I'm counting my blessings, thankful that I wasn't involved in ANY of those things going on all around me this last week.  It's not even a full moon ... that's the first thing I checked!!

Rushing off early ... I'll keep you posted on Miss Jessie and relate the Magic Kingdom stories tomorrow!!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

How To Lower Your Stress Level

Unfortunately, I have absolutely no idea how to accomplish lowering your stress level.  As I may have mentioned before, my Mother was the queen of stress and worry.  That seems to be one of the excellent traits she passed on to me.  In spite of knowing that fact, I STILL can't seem to change it.

This week has been a test of my strength in that area, which of course is nonexistent!  I usually have one or two days of down time, laying on the couch or playing with the puppies.  Alas, it seems every day has something ... mostly around the early hours of the morning after another restless night's sleep worrying about getting it all done before I leave, which is in itself a stress point.

All of this, plus allergies like I've never experienced before, brought about an eye twitch of epic proportions.  No fear however, nothing was going to keep me away from the last session with Teri in Morgan Hill as we worked on stitches to use for the Siren's magnificent tail.

I took my time as my eye twitched to the beat of the Country radio station I picked up, until I suddenly remembered I forgot to call my Insurance Agent about the new house.   My eye twitched faster until I finally arrived in the parking lot and made the phone call to correct that situation.

The other reason my eye was twitching so drastically was I discovered Jessie's previous surgery scar had blown up like a balloon in a matter of three days.  My second phone call was to the Vet for an appointment this morning.  Finally inside with the lovely ladies of needlepoint, they could tell by the look on my face I was stressed.  They sat me down with a cup of hot tea and a little conversation.  How sweet was that?  In no time I realized the twitching had stopped.  It was a miracle!!

On the way home I felt great until I got to within 30 miles of my home.  See that brown stripe at the bottom of the blue sky?  That's dust, dirt and smog that hangs in our lovely valley, causing people major head distress.  I know .... another reason to move to Arizona, although the cholla blooms have the same effect on me.
I decided to give Taco Bell one last chance for redemption since I won't be back by there for several months.  This time the crunch wrap won the coin toss.  It tasted pretty good until I got to the bottom where they had slathered the meat with some kind of sauce resembling cheese, only because it was bright yellow.  That's what tastes so bad ... it's that new queso sauce they put on everything.  I ate all around it and deposited the rest in the bag.  So much for Taco Bell.  Maybe next time I'll try Carls Junior.
Lucky for me, traffic wasn't bad going either way until I started up Pacheco Pass.  A big rig going DOWN the hill either fell asleep or used up all the air for his brakes.  He fell off the side of the highway around a corner, slamming into the trees and landing on his side.  It must have happened just as I passed by going to Morgan Hill.  They had heavy concrete barriers set up already and three big tow trucks trying to pull the rig back up on the road.  

With a big sigh of relief, I arrived back home and crashed on the couch to watch the Giants beat the Cubs.  Slowly but surely, the twitching began again as I went over my schedule.  Vet appointment, Magic Kingdom, car tires installation, College photography class critique, company coming, funeral and possibly another surgery for Jessie.  Yup ... my eye is still twitching to the beat!!

Monday, May 22, 2017

I'm Off Again!!

Boy am I glad THAT'S over with.  The last breakfast I volunteer to cook is over and done with for the summer.  Temperatures are too hot in this neck of the woods.  Just to prove it, it got up to 99 yesterday at my house.  It's not the cooking or the company, it's getting up at 4:30 in the morning!!

Our normal pancake flipper didn't show up until late, but the backup crew did a great job.  They go with the best ... Krusteaz mix.  Of course if you put enough syrup on them like I do, even cardboard  tastes good.
I got there at 6:15, yawning all the way, in time to turn the ovens on high.  Not the newest of ovens, you have to crank the knob up to 500 to get a reasonably good temperature to cook the hash browns.  Slathering them with butter helped a lot.
My favorite, absolutely the greasiest, Farmer John sausage is always a hit.  By the time you leave the buffet line with eggs added to your plate, it's full and running over.  You definitely get your $6.00 worth here.  
When 10:30 rolled around, I was quick to head out the door.  I did finally discover the sprinkler timer was one day off (no ghosty), so with that fixed, I started the rounds, checking all the sprinkler heads.  There must be some reason there are huge brown patches on the lawn.

I replaced four heads that weren't putting out any water at all, and found three large unused ones in the garage while making sure that kid didn't steal anything.  I'll try to replace the ones that don't work with the new ones today.

I also came across Jonathan's cage that will live at the Arizona house.  Trouble was, it was WAY too big to fit in the car or the rig for transport.  After pondering that problem for about an hour, I remembered putting it together when I first purchased it.  That means it should come apart and lay flat.  I was pretty proud of myself on that one ... I actually got it apart (with no cut fingers) and flattened so it fits in the bay.  Jon has a new home for Arizona, it just needs some feed trays.

I'm off again early this morning to Morgan Hill to work on this girl some more.  I hope to get all the necessary stuff to work on her hair.  That should take me all summer long to finish.
Is anyone else being bothered by allergies this year?  I'm going crazy from all the pollen in the air.  Springtime after a wet winter isn't fun around here, especially when the wind comes up every day to swirl even more junk into the air we breathe.  Sneezing has become traumatic, I haven't been able to breath well for two weeks and am getting rummy from lack of sleep.  Hopefully this next week will be better as I finish packing for the trip to Lost Horse Ranch.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

The Last Breakfast

I'm off again this morning for the Last Breakfast (for me anyway) at the Elks RV Park.  This will be a shorty blog.  They have decided to add hash browns to the mix.  Not only do they require some preparation, but they require a very HOT HOT oven.  Last time they cooked them, the oven finally got hot about the time they needed to serve.  Not that it's any of my business really, but I'm going extra early to crank those ovens up to their highest temperature so we can have reasonably well cooked potatoes!!

While I was making RV and Lost Horse Ranch list after list so I don't forget something, I watched the Preakness Stakes race, the second of the triple crown of horse racing.  Not that I'm all that interested in racing, but my love of horses goes beyond the normal.

Add to that the fact that the VERY expensive needlepoint store in Morgan Hill gives you a discount if you pick the winner, and I'm glued to the television.  Here's my pick ... Always Dreaming.  I had my doubts, since he has won his last four races, including the Kentucky Derby.  You can't win that many in a row and not be too tired to win the next two.  I considered changing my choice, but in the end, it wouldn't have mattered.
AND THEY'RE OFF!!!!  Always Dreaming #4 and Classic Empire #5 (the second choice to win) came out of the gates together and made a run for the rail.  What that means is they were on too fast of a pace to be able to have anything left in the final stretch.
Classic Empire got ahead of Always Dreaming, as he lost his oomph and ended up back in the pack.  Then, out of nowhere came Cloud Computing (I'm sorry, but these are dumb names for horses) who was neck and neck to the end where he nosed out Classic Empire for the win.  You never know who is going to the winners circle ... which horse is tired or which is just having a bad day.  Horses are very much like humans in that respect.  On this day, Cloud Computing won and I lost my discount at the needlepoint store.  RATS!!
I could have used it since I'm going over again tomorrow for my last session until probably September.  

So I'm off to feed the masses again ... fruit, sausage, hash browns, pancakes and eggs.  Not bad for a $6.00 breakfast.  I think that's better than Denny's Grand Slam!!

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Now You See It, Now You Don't

One of the things the Elk's Lodge does to raise money is have raffles.  Raffles, raffles, everywhere a raffle.  Do we get kind of tired of them?  Yes we do ... but we all know it's how they separate you from your green stuff in order to collect donations for all the good and worthy projects we support, like Children's Hospital, the Burn Center and our Troops.  In return SOME people win great prizes.

At the Cattlemen's dinner Thursday night, they put on a great raffle, with prizes that couldn't be beat, all donated at no cost to the Elks.  This amazing barbecue was one of them.  Pretty nice, right?  Well the Castle Lawyer wanted the barbecue, said she needed it as her's was old and falling apart.  She bought FIVE tickets (I bought 25) and of course she WON!!!  So did the raffle with $850 collected.

All was well until they rolled it up beside her and she figured out it wasn't gas.  Good Heavens ... I thought it was GAS!!  Nope ... charcoal only.  Not only that, but there was no way she was fitting this in her little car.  I tried to shrink until I was under the table, but it didn't work.  My truck was conscripted to haul the critter to her house on the farthest side of town at 8:00 in the morning.

By the time we got it there, she had decided she always wanted to learn how to cook with charcoal.  Personally I think it will make a nice plant stand.
While I was in town, I decided to stop in at See's Candy and pick up my $20 worth, using the gift card Miss Tammy gave me.  Although most stores on our little Mall open at 9:00, this one does not.  I sat in the parking lot and watched a live presentation of a greater flamingo baby hatching from his shell.  Apparently they take longer than an hour, but he was cute, fluffy and chirped a lot.  At any rate, it passed the time before killing my phone battery.  Finally the store opened.  There will be candy for breakfast!!
I picked out all my favorites including everything peanut butter and maple flavored.  The box was so full she couldn't even get the top to stay on.  Thank you Tammy!!!  I'm in candy heaven.
Now you see it, now you DON'T!!   HA HA!!  GOTCHA!!  I didn't really eat it all.  I would be on the floor writhing in pain if I did.  I put them all in a zip-lock bag in the freezer.  Well maybe not ALL ... a couple may have jumped in my mouth on the way.  Out of sight, out of mind however.  They will last much longer if they are hidden away behind the Lean Cuisines.
I spent the rest of the day between embroidery, needlepoint and playing with the puppies.  This cute little hippo is up to her neck in water, with see-through organza placed over the body and a bunch of little fish swimming around underneath.  Pretty cute.  
Two more to go and the little quilt will be done.  
Not that anyone is going to need a quilt around here any time soon.  The temperatures will be upwards of 90 all week long.  That's okay though, it's conditioning for my trip to Arizona in June.  I'll be able to see just how good that new air conditioning system works in my ranch house.

I can't wait ... I'm going to be living part time in the Arizona Territory ... land of cowboys and Indians, where on this very ground, cattle rustlers and train robbers hid out as the posse rode by in the distance.  I know, I have a crazy imagination, or maybe I'm just a reincarnated bad guy's girlfriend!!  

Friday, May 19, 2017

Stranger Danger!!!

It's not just for kids.  It's for everyone where I live.  Over the years, we have become a town of street gangs and druggies (a good place to stop between LA and Sacramento), not to mention the maximum security prison.  What?  You didn't now there was a prison in my back yard?  You don't hear much about it, but when you do, it's Stranger Danger time!

You don't really expect it in your neighborhood, or in your driveway, or in your GARAGE!!  Yesterday while I was loading up the Jeep, I forgot to shut the garage door for about 30 minutes.  Pretty soon I heard a door shut and the dogs starting barking up a storm.  Thank goodness for puppies. Not seeing anyone out the front window, I went around to the side to find some kid on a skateboard INSIDE my garage.

He's lucky he's alive.  I grabbed my gun and pulled back the window shade where he could clearly see me.  He jumped on his skateboard and made a beeline for the street with me hot on his tail.  Later in the day I spotted a skateboard in the yard of a house four doors down.  It was probably just a nosey neighbor teenager, but I'm willing to bet he won't be trying that again.   I kind of like being the crazy lady with a gun!!

I double and triple checked everything in the garage ... especially making sure all my door openers were still in the vehicles.  Nothing was missing, thanks to the puppies who have super hearing.
The very next morning some guy held up a Valero gas station about three miles away, then hit the Circle K about a mile from my house.  Good grief ... this is getting ridiculous!!  Are you SURE there isn't a full moon??  I keep my doors locked at all times.  

Then there was the prison incident.  Apparently this was never advertised as a maximum security prison, even though it was built that way.  Who would know that information unless you worked there, right?  I actually have a friend who is a guard at that establishment.  He tells me all kinds of stories about the ineptness of the Federal Prison system.  Those stories have always kept me on guard, plus you KNOW I watch all those Cop shows.

It's been there for a long time now with no escapes.  Trouble is, there is always the FIRST.  It happened last week.  Not that I think an escaped prisoner would come to my house, after all, there are hundreds of houses between the prison and me.  I keep my doors locked anyway.  

The BIG problem was that the Prison decided NOT ... I repeat ... NOT to notify anyone of the escape for over four hours, putting all of us in this area at risk.  I don't know the details ... something about there not being a guard in the tower when the guy climbed the fence.  

The County Sheriff wasn't a happy camper when he was asked to help catch the guy, since HE wasn't notified of the escape either.  The good news is that they DID catch him and he was returned to his new digs in the Shoe ... solitary confinement .... bread and water.  
I'm sure that didn't bode well for the Prison Warden.  Somebody got a big red X on his evaluation.  I have no doubt security will be MUCH better ... at least for awhile.

I spent the evening at the Elks Cattlemen's dinner.  Cowboys know how to do it up right.  They had appetizers ... no one ever has appetizers!!  I'm sure some wished there WASN'T any when they heard what they were eating.  Calf fries, rocky mountain oysters ... you know, the parts from making a bull into a steer.  That's something I'm pretty used to, having been raised on a cattle ranch.  They were a tad overcooked, but I think that was an attempt to disguise what they really were. 

Then they served the biggest rib eye steak I've ever seen.  It covered 3/4 of the plate and I brought 3/4 of it home, along with half a baked potato and a passel of green beans.  That will be TWO more meals for me. 

This morning I'm back on sprinkler detail.  It seems the Castle Ghost is still lurking in the shadows.  I made double sure that my sprinklers would NOT run on Friday when the mowers and blowers show up.  Sure enough, they ran this morning anyway.  I'm now thinking it must have the wrong DATE.  I'll check it out, and I'll carry a baseball bat when I do .... you know, just in case.

Thursday, May 18, 2017


Recorded and official, my little slice of heaven awaits my arrival.  I'm not really sure when that will be, but owning a piece of Arizona Territory makes me happy.  I can't wait to get down there so I can show you some pictures.  I'm even going to pick out paint colors today.  Might as well be prepared, although there really isn't that much to paint.  I'll have to show you some before and after pictures.
After falling asleep around 7:00 while watching TV (it's just so exciting around here), I finally caught up and recovered from the Mother's Day marathon.  I picked up more material for the critter quilt and whipped out another panel.  The next one will be the Hippo.  She's standing in deep water that you can see through.  Interesting, right?  '

In between switching back and forth from needlepoint to quilting, I've gathered more stuff for the ranch in Vail ... things like quilts, pillows, a couple of small tables, a lamp ... everything I can think of I will need that I can stuff in the rig and the Jeep.  It will all be so heavy I probably won't get over 50 mph.
I also made a quick run to the grocery store.  It's taken me THREE trips to get all the ingredients for the pie below.  While scouting out easy to prepare frozen lunches, I spotted this.  Fishless filets?  WHAT??  I picked up a couple of boxes of Indian food (love it!) and hit the checkout stand.  Wasn't I surprised when I got home and they were vegetarian!!  AHA!!!  No wonder the fishless fish.  Good grief .... my chicken tikka masala had no meat.  It had that horrible tofu stuff, tough and chewy rubber, with a ton of garbanzo beans.  Not exactly my kind of lunch, but I ate it.  
To make up for the less-than-successful lunch, I put a half frozen pork roast in the Instant Pot along with one small bottle of pepsi cola.  In 50 minutes I had the best pulled pork EVER!!  Unfortunately, this time I cooled the liquid, scraped off the grease and added it back to the meat.  Big mistake.  It's okay if you want a chili verde type dish, but for tacos, it's too juicy.  The bottom fell out of my tortilla depositing all that goodness in my lap.  I know, I should eat at the table like my mother said.
Then I set about whipping up the lemonade cream cheese pie.  Sound delicious, right?  Welllllllll this one just might be headed for the cemetery.  I think I've finally hit the end of my winning streak.  First off, I just KNEW that 2/3 of a cup of butter for the graham cracker crumb crust was too much, but I followed the recipe anyway.  It was WAY too much.   After baking, it was a gooey mess.

When I whipped the lemon pudding mix with only 5 ounces of milk, I thought it was WAY too thick. Pretty much I was right.  The cream cheese and the lemonade came out beautifully, but was no match for the pudding.  Finally somewhat mixed up, I put it in the pie shell, now hard as a rock.  Two hours later it got the taste test.  It really didn't taste too bad until I got to the rock hard crust.  I needed a jackhammer.  

I'm going to try another piece today ... maybe the filling will soak into the crust a little.  Otherwise, it's destined for the shovel!!
On today's schedule is another Elks dinner and meeting.  This time it's sponsored by the Cattlemen, so you KNOW I'm attending, along with a hundred others who are looking for a cheap steak.  The steaks are awesome, the price usually $15.00.  In the meantime, I've got boxes of stuff by the back door to be packed in the rig.  The weather is heating up to over 100 by the end of the week, so I need to get cracking!!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Sometimes You Lose - Bingo That Is

First off, thank you everyone for the name suggestions.  I love them!!!  If everything went okay, the Title Company should close today, then it's celebration time!!  Not that I can celebrate much with the puppies ... they are NOT party animals ... but I'll think of something!!  I've still not caught up on my sleep from Morgan Hill, the Elks, the Elks again and now Bingo night.  Try as I might, once I'm awake, I'm awake, so the puppies and I just cuddled on the couch.
As much as I tried to ignore it was Magic Kingdom night, it refused to go away, so off I went with a good heart and a smile, hoping for the best.  I should have known something was up when I arrived at the Sky Lounge for my usual please-keep-me-awake Coke, because by 4:00, I'm always yawning and ready to hit the hay.

There sat Prince Charming and only one other person.  This place is usually hopping!!  It was then that I met Frank.  Frank is a 97 year old World War II veteran who was at Pearl Harbor.  Obviously he survived, but only by the skin of his teeth when he was thrown into an airplane as a tail gunner (his first ride ever) as they flew towards Australia.  Right off the bat, the wing was shot off the airplane and they crashed into shark infested waters.  Two hours later, a PT boat picked them up.

He has stories you can't believe.  An interesting coincidence, he knows the area around Tucson and Benson well since he was born and raised there.  More stories include his brother who was one of the original men who carried the flag to the top of the hill in Iwo Jima ... one of the men who didn't get credit for it when it was staged later for the photo and monument.  

I immediately mentioned getting these stories on tape ... I'll bring the recorder.  Frank said yes.  He likes the girls, even if they are MY age.  Hopefully I can capture some of these amazing true life stories.  He has a lifetime of them.  

Eventually I headed off downstairs to work, still with a smile on my face.  Frank was funny!!  He has a great sense of humor, especially since he professes to be Apache Indian.  Good I said ... we'll be cowboy(girl) and Indian!!

I should have known it wouldn't go well when no one showed up to work the Bingo room.  We normally have four or five guys floating around selling pull tabs and Bonanza tickets (one of our games).  We depend on the men to keep us safe and sane.  Too bad it doesn't rub off on the peasants, as they immediately got into a big argument at our table, with pushing and shoving trying to get the PERFECT Bingo card ... the WINNER!!  That never happens, the winning part, but they fight over them anyway.  Is it a full moon or something?

Here's the main problem ... if you win, you have to yell LOUDLY.  I know I've mentioned this before. We not only mention it, we state it LOUDLY at the beginning of the game.  Bingo machines make noise.  If you don't yell, the caller can't hear and calls the next number.  That means you lose and that means there's a screaming mad peasant on the loose.  We have a duck and run policy for that.

It didn't help that there were only TWO men on the floor, who also can't hear well.  Face it, we're old and the first thing that went south was our hearing.  So when the lady didn't get her payoff, she got so mad she cleared the table of all the food, drinks and bingo cards she had, making a huge mess on the carpeted floor.  The King jumped on her immediately, escorted her to the door and told her to never return.  That bodes badly for those of us who have to walk to our vehicles where she may be hiding!!!  No, I'm not kidding.  We required an escort.

But that wasn't the only reason ... our little upstairs bartender, blond, covered with tattoos and a sweetheart who never wears enough clothes to keep her warm, was accosted in the parking lot as she stepped out for a smoke.  Instead of running, she froze like a deer in the headlights.  Lucky for her, one of our guys went out for a smoke too and chased him off.  Good grief ... it MUST be a full moon!!
At long last the night was over, but we closed up a tad too soon and change was required, sending everyone into a tizzy ... an angry tizzy.  I dipped into the "tip" box quickly for change.  I can't blame them ... it was a rough night with no help to corral the angry peasants.  Probably one of the worst nights we've had.  With an armed escort ... yes, really ... we walked to our cars, locked the doors and got out of Dodge.  Thank goodness THAT'S over with!!

While downloading some stuff yesterday,  I discovered one picture I forgot to post of Tammy and I having lunch at the Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite.  This was before the drenching mist from the falls!!
Although it's cool and beautiful this morning, a lovely 54 degrees outside, it's supposed to be 97 by Saturday, so I'll be gearing up for warmer weather.  Mostly I'll be packing the rig with everything I can think of that will fit.    It's not official yet, but we're close ...... very close .... to closing on my Arizona house!!