Monday, April 30, 2018

Poked Full Of Holes

It was an exciting day yesterday .... I held the couch down all day long.  Truthfully, I've been counting down the minutes until Miss Jessie can get her stitches out and we are able to move back to the bed.

It's funny how when you sleep in different parts of your house, you hear noises ... strange noises.  In the bedroom there is always one big pop around 10:00.  The trusses or maybe 2x6's relaxing after a hard day of holding up the roof.

It's another story altogether in the living room.  There's a snap in the fireplace (the pilot light is off) and something groaning in the kitchen.  All of which make up an interesting night's sleep.

Needless to say, I wasn't going anywhere ... until my quilter called.  She had finished three quilts.  Time to get the binding on.  This one went pretty quickly because it's so small.  Needles and I get along like teddy bear cholla and flesh.  They are always sticking me every time I turn around.  It's a good thing this is just going to be a wall hanging, since I'm sure the edges have a good sampling of my DNA.
I went outside a couple of times with the puppies, mostly to assess the damage the gardeners inflicted.  Surprisingly, they did just what I asked ... trimmed the bushes and repaired the sprinklers.  I should have looked just a tad bit further.

I began the binding of this quilt when the Giants/Dodgers baseball game came on.  After our crazy loss at 15-6 with our third baseman becoming the pitcher (!!!!!!!!!) I wasn't looking forward to a great game.  It happens that was a bad day for Giants Pitchers and it was also a double header.  

Not wanting to use up ALL their pitchers before the second game, they asked for volunteers.  Panda, as he has become known, said he could pitch.  He plays third base.  How many coaches would say OK ... you go right out there and kick some butt.  AND HE DID!  

To the amazement and entertainment of everyone, he pitched like he had done it all his life.  Three up, three down and even a strikeout with a curve ball to be envied.  The Dodgers were getting into the fun and much as the Giants!!

The second game the Dodgers were a sure bet winner ... but not this time.  The Baseball Gods looked down in favor as the Giants won.  Yesterday was the last game in the series and the Giants WON AGAIN, winning the series.  How is that possible??

Lucky for me, that took all the pain away from the 89 needle sticks I took to my fingers, enough to finally poke a big hole in the tip of one.  I switched to pushing with the next finger, but I was soon to run out of digits.  

Yes they make things called thimbles ... even a bandaid will help.  For some reason however, every time I go to push the needle, I switch to a "naked" finger.  Something in my brain says the thimble finger is occupied.

Isn't this cute?  It's quilted with horseshoes!!  Two down and one to go, until she calls to say the other 12 are done.
Missy girl gets her stitches out this morning, and I'm contemplating asked the Vet to repair my finger. It would be nice if this means the end of the couch bed, but I'm afraid it does not.  She jumped down off the couch two days ago before I could grab her, spraining her right front foot.  She's been limping ever since.  Jumping off a three foot high bed will be disaster, so it's back to the couch for a couple more days.  UGH ........
About the gardener?  Last night when I went to bed, I noticed my outside garden lights were only lit on one side.  Are you kidding me?  Those darn guys, in cutting back the bush on one side, AGAIN cut the wires.  I'm mad as a wet hen!!  It cost me $110 last time this happened.  Wait until I get ahold of them!!!!!

Sunday, April 29, 2018

A Little Bit Of Mexico

There's a song .... have another beer in Mexico.  That's probably what I should have done rather than try to bring a taste of Mexico to my kitchen.  I think I have too much time on my hands.  My brain gets going about what food to cook.  What else do you think about when you're on a diet??

I found an Instant Pot recipe for turkey chili verde that seemed to fit the need for something tasty and the required LOW FAT food.  I hit the grocery store running.  There were three kinds of chilis in the recipe, none of which my store had, even though it sits in the middle of California's agriculture land which is populated with millions of hispanics.

I settled for this one whatever it is, which was the only one on the shelf.  I kid you not.  First up, just for authentic flavor, I tossed it on my gas stove for a little char.  It scared me when it started popping and cracking like Kelloggs Rice Krispies.

Nicely black, I dumped it into a plastic bag to sweat the skin off.  I saw that on television once.  It actually worked pretty good.  I smashed the tomatillos in the blender without cutting myself and chopped up some onion.  This is a big stretch for me ... cooking something sort of authentic.

Now for the turkey.  There wasn't any of that either.  Seriously .... there was only ground turkey, which I don't imagine shreds very well.  I substituted chicken.  Into the instant pot it went along with every spice I could think of.
Amazingly, it came out quite tasty.  A little bit of Mexico in my kitchen, topped with avocado and cheese.  I should have stopped right there.
But NO ..... I remembered those tortillas I used to make by the dozen.  Tasty soft lovely flour tortillas, grilled to perfection.  Wouldn't that be nice with chili verde?  I dug out an old recipe.  

There's not much to tortillas ... flour, lard, baking powder and salt.  Since I didn't have lard, I checked the fridge for good old Crisco shortening, an acceptable substitute.  I was pretty sure it had been hiding in the back for a long time ... a VERY long time ... but the pull date was still good.

Two minutes in the kitchenmaid mixer and VOILA!!  Tortillas waiting to be rolled out and cooked.  Did I mention I left out most of the salt?  The Doctor said no salt.  Thirty minutes later I was rolling like I knew what I was doing. 
You need something cast-iron-like on which to cook these.  A comal is the best, but mine is in Arizona.  This large very old Wagner frying pan will do the trick.  No oil here ... you cook them dry.  
About 30 seconds later (per side) I had a pile of beautiful fresh flour tortillas ready to devour with my dinner of chicken chili verde.  Talk about a taste of Mexico!!

That's when I bit into the first tortilla.  My oh my oh my!  It was all I could do to keep from spitting it on the floor.  Just because it looks good, doesn't mean it TASTES good.  RATS!!!  My taste of Mexico tasted like spoiled mildewy old pieces of cardboard.  

My first thought was lack of salt.  Then the light bulb went off.  It was the OLD Crisco shortening I used.  I'm NOT sorry to say these went straight to the cemetery.  I said a few good words about Mexico and some bad about Crisco before dropping them into the spacious hole where they will remain.  A few petals from my rose bushes drifted over the top.  How appropriate.
I haven't given up however .... I have at least four more bowls of chicken verde to eat, which is delicious I might add.  Today I'll make a quick run to the Mexican grocery store to pick up some lard.  It's a challenge now ... I HAVE to make tortillas like I did years ago.  This time I'll add salt.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Big Surprises!

SURPRISE!!  The kids got me up at 3:45 am.  You need an alarm clock?  I have one for you.  Two in fact!  I had no choice but to get up when both of them started walking all over me.  Yeah, we're still on the couch.  Good grief guys ... it's not time!  Apparently they don't speak English.

With everyone fed and watered, I sat down with my coffee to contemplate my plan of attack for the gardener.

In the meantime, SURPRISE!!  Cooper you're getting a haircut!  Definitely not on his list of favorite things to do, Cooper balked as I chased him around the living room trying to get close enough to grab him.  I tried to be real sneaky about getting out the clippers and setting up the table, but alas, he figured me out immediately.
In spite of everything I've been told by the three people who have clipped him in the past, he doesn't move around at all.  He stood perfectly still the entire time.  Good boy Cooper!!  Of course he is nine years old, so he does have some experience.  Unfortunately, I haven't improved much at all in the art of haircutting.
I sat around all morning waiting to pounce on the gardeners who finally showed up at noon.  I pointed out the broken sprinkler heads because the grass is so tall the pop-up stays up and his mower chops it off.  Just to instill that fact, I cut around every sprinkler head and left the chunks of dirt and grass in a heap.  He promised to keep them clean with the weed-eater and SURPRISE, he replaced both at no charge.  YAY!  Like I was going to pay, right?

Next up, trim the bushes back.  They are so big, they completely block three sprinklers.  Come on guys, this isn't rocket science.  Or maybe it IS!!!

I got out my weed sprayer, mixed up a batch and sprayed a total of three gallons on every weed I could find.  Round-Up is my friend.  Finally satisfied that the yard was getting back in shape, I hit the drip lines through the flower beds.  SURPRISE!  Four heads were blown completely off and water was going everywhere.  No surprise, really.

If it were me, I would replace the entire setup, but it IS me and I'm cheap.  I just keep plugging holes and adding on, cutting out sections that are broken.  Hey ... it works, which is why they need to cut the bushes back.

Last surprise .... no surprise really ... I finished the Paris quilt.  I feel much better that the quilter never did find my big mistake.  That beautiful inexpensive backing I found, so soft and silky, turned into a nightmare.  

SURPRISE!!  The edges frayed just looking at it.  By the time I got half way around, I was gathering up dozens of long strings and trying to encase them in the binding.  What a mess that was!  I probably stuck myself with the needle fifty times.  

Thankfully, it's finally done.  I have to say it IS rather soft and silky, but I'll never buy any of that material again!
By the end of the day, I must have been rummy ... I thought what a good idea it would be to make my own tortillas.  What was I thinking??  I must have inhaled too much Round Up!!  I'll tell you all about it tomorrow!

Friday, April 27, 2018

Trouble With A Capital T

You can tell by looking at this face that she's in trouble.  BIG trouble.  The day had come to take the big bandage off.  Miss Jessie is rather weird.  As I have said in the past, everything is hers ... including the bandage and her leg.  She decided she wanted to keep it and wasn't going to share.

Once staked out on the table, she finally relented amid growly growls as I snipped the bandage off.  It's long and ugly, so I won't show a picture.  No use ruining your breakfast.  I re-bandaged it to keep it clean.  That lasted all of ten minutes, as you can see by the look on her face.  She ripped the whole thing off.

FINE!!  It's the cone of shame for you, Missy.  This morning it looks really good ... three more days for the stitches to come out.  She's running and jumping everywhere, so it must be feeling good too.
Next to get in trouble was of course my gardener.  I clean out the sprinklers every year.  They do nothing to keep them that way.  How about a hit with the weed-eater to keep the grass at bay?  Steak knife in hand (the serrated edge works so well) I cleaned out 30 of these holes.  

When I turned the sprinklers on, I had two geysers almost as tall as the house.  HE JUST CHECKED THEM!!  Obviously he didn't walk away from the control box or he would have seen water shooting into the air.  I turned it off and began to water station by station.  
That's when "I" got in trouble.  I was stuck behind two large sprinklers and couldn't get out without running through them.  YAY!!  I made it!  Only got a tad wet on my legs.  That is until I sat down and realized I got a full spray in the butt, soaking me to the skin.  

The gardeners are supposed to show up this morning and we will have yet another talk.  Yes, I've talked to other companies, who want to charge me upwards of $200 a month.  UGH!!

Oh .... and my trip to the dentist!  I was in trouble this time.  Did I ever mention Dr Randolph?  He worked in the Mondo building when I was a kid.  Horrible dentist!  He drilled four cavities in baby teeth WITHOUT NOVOCAIN telling me it didn't hurt ... what was I crying about??

It took twenty one years for me to gather up the courage to go to another dentist.  Luckily I found the one I see now.  When I required a crown due to a broken tooth, he went out and bought a CD player and hooked me up, turning the music on LOUD.  His office girl, who has become a great friend, held my hand the entire time.  I was petrified!!

So when I heard the good doctor's son was taking over, I wasn't bothered.  I did however, get a lecture because I had not let them take x-rays for five years.  Mostly because of no insurance, not to mention I didn't want to glow in the dark from all the x-rays you usually have every year.  

Okay ..... x-ray away!!  WELL ... seems I have a cavity between two teeth on the top.  I didn't see a darn thing when he pointed to it, but I'm not a doctor.  Sorry, he will have to prove it before he drills.  I got a reprieve until next year however ... if it's getting bigger, he needs to do a quick fill.  I can deal with that since they now do in-house knock-you-out anesthesia.  I know, I'm a wimp.  All because of the first dentist I ever saw.

Next up .... gear up for the gardener conversation and get out the weed sprayer!!  Oh boy, what fun!

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Forget The Magic Kingdom? NO WAY!!

Tuesday was another exciting night at the Magic Kingdom of Bingo!  You thought I forgot?  No way could I forget that much frustration packed into six hours of fun.

I started off with my usual glass of coke.  The bartender doesn't even have to ask any more.  He just brings me Coca Cola before I even sit down.  The Court Jester, Prince Charming and I had a lovely conversation about why I had not received my membership card.

I got in a little discussion (that's putting it mildly) with the person (who shall remain nameless) who mails out the cards and the newsletter.  He is in charge of the torture chamber of the castle and he's very good at his job of torture.

The newsletter has the calendar so I know what's going on and when to be where.  I haven't received it in the mail in close to four years.  In spite of my pleadings, I received nothing but grief ... "I took it to the Post Office ... GO SEE THEM!"  Pretty much we haven't spoken since.

Out of the blue, that person walked up and placed my card on the table saying somehow my name was on the list, but a label had NOT been printed.  No kidding Sherlock ... I've been trying to tell you that since forever.  There was no apology ... nothing .... but at least now I can attend meetings.  Maybe if I'm lucky, I will even receive the calendar in the mail next month.  I'm not holding my breath.
That's when the REAL frustration began.  The mini-me machine (son of the infernal calculating machine), is a nasty little creature that refuses to do it's job.  We had 117 people, 23 of which chose to use their debit cards.  15 of those 23 times, it refused to work.  Not once, but several times each!  The line was backing up clear across the playing floor and people were getting rowdy.

Unsolicited Reversal was the game of the day.  By the way, I just learned how to scratch out names or whatever on my phone.  It's pretty cool!!  I took this picture because I'm going to the Board of Directors and ask they DO SOMETHING.  Our system runs through antique phone lines ... we should be wireless I think, but I'm not sure what company can set us up.  If I don't have a solution I probably shouldn't bring up the problem.
This one was Communication Error, which also happened several times.  Really, I couldn't care less about the mini-me, but we are going to have a lot of unhappy customers go elsewhere to throw their money away if we don't get this fixed.  I prefer they throw money at US!!
What keeps me going back?  The smiling faces of the King, Prince Charming and the Knights of the Round Table.  Plus, if I ever get in any kind of trouble, I know they would be there for me.  I just need to take a chill pill before entering the building!!  Maybe a couple glasses of wine would work.

Making my day even better, I have a dentist appointment this morning.  There's nothing like having someone stick your gums with sharp instruments, then say "oh ... bleeding on #22".  Yeah, you just stuck me with that measuring thingy!!  On my way home I'm getting some ice cream to make me feel better!!

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

It's Not Just California

Let's face it, California sucks and isn't getting any better.  It's filled with people who get the most welfare of any other state and they have for generations.  If you're a criminal, come to California and we'll take care of you ... give you money, a place to live and free food.  If you're not a citizen it doesn't matter.  You'll get free medical care, free schooling for your kids and now we'll give you a drivers license.

Don't get me wrong, I don't mind helping people who really want to work.  My grandparents immigrated here and didn't get a dime.  They worked hard and went through the process to become citizens.  It's pretty frustrating to keep doling out all my taxes for people who just demand everything for free.

So here's the deal as far as I understand it.  By the way, I took this image from the California DMV website so I could show you exactly what you need to watch out for, whether you are a California resident or not.  Why?  Because this is not just California.  Many other states have already begun this process, including Arizona.

The top picture is of a REAL card.  A Real card is issued to a proven California resident and US citizen.  DO NOT renew your drivers license through the mail unless you don't care, or will never fly in an airplane.  You will get the FAKE ID card automatically.  You only get the REAL card if you ask and apply for it IN PERSON.

Go directly to the DMV office (after making an appointment, of course) and take your passport (the best idea) or any of the following:  your birth certificate, an employment authorization document or a permanent resident card.  Notice your current driver's license will not work.

If you have a different name than on your birth certificate because you got married or divorced, you have to take every court document you have that certifies (in other words a certified copy) your name change.  Married and divorced two or three times?  You're going to need a wheelbarrow!!

Also take with you a copy of your mortgage, your utility bill or something with your physical address and current name on it.  Anything addressed to a Post Office Box will not work.

Present proof of your social security number ... either your actual card or a W-2 or pay stub with your complete number on it.  Again, anything with a different name than your birth certificate, has to have a certified copy of the name change.

Confused yet?  It's ridiculous that we now have to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt who WE are, while we let non-citizens flood the country with NO identification.

REAL drivers license ... golden bear.  FAKE license ... Federal Limits Apply in the top right corner.
You too can have the FAKE ID drivers license card if you so desire.  It is considered Federal Non-Compliant ... which means you cannot use it to get on any domestic airplane or visit any military base or federal facility.

Although they won't tell you, you also CANNOT buy any weapons (I'm not sure about ammunition, although California is taking care of that by requiring a new "license" in order to purchase ammunition).   If you have a concealed carry permit or if you think you will ever want to purchase a weapon, you CANNOT do so with the FAKE card.  Most people won't care about that part, but if you need to fly home at some point, you will not be allowed on the airplane without a passport or this card.

Sound crazy?  Yup I agree.  Lots of hoops for us citizens to jump through while the immigrants have to prove nothing.  They just walk in and get a drivers license.

So there it is folks.  I think it became effective in 2018 for those whose driver's licenses expired around that time.  Many people have received the FAKE card without knowing and now have to gather up all their information and go down to their local office for a new card.

Think this is just crazy California?  Nope ... it's effective in 2020 for many other States as well, Arizona being one of them.  Check with your local DMV office on-line.  Information should be available there.

If you do not currently have a passport, it might be a good idea to get one, even if you never travel.  It's the one thing that will get you in anywhere.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Into The Lion's Den

It was DMV day, something I had NOT been looking forward to.  Our local office has been in the same location for over 69 years.  It's made of concrete and WAY too small for the amount of people in our County.

They have been notorious ever since I can remember, for being rude, belligerent and gestapo-ish.  It was soon time to head into the Lion's Den!!!

You CAN make appointments, and I most certainly did.  Usually you get an appointment for the next day.  I had to wait a week.  That should have been the first indication.  When I got to the door, the ante room was packed to the brim with bodies spilling outside.  Yikes!!

Since the configuration had changed, I asked for directions to the appointment line.  No one spoke a word, I'm guessing because no one spoke English.  After looking at the signs on the ceiling, I discovered a path to the appointment line.  Lo and behold, no one was IN that line.  YAY for me!!!

Wasn't I surprised when a smiling young lady immediately told me to go to her counter.  She handed me the paperwork to fill out and said to go to the back wall to complete it.  I threaded my way through wall to wall, shoulder to shoulder packed humanity.

When done, I went straight back through the same group to her station where I got a number ... 4924.  Watch the monitor she said ... when you see that number, go to the window number shown.  I told her how nice it was to see a smiling face in this building.  She blushed.

Luckily, I got a seat, but only because I pointed to it and the nice man shook his head.  I tried to strike up a conversation, but he didn't speak English either.

You know ANYONE can now come in and get a drivers license (U.S. citizen or not) ... and believe me, EVERYONE is doing that!!  Not helping matters, the DMV office has ten window stations, TEN ... not counting four more for driver's licenses.  Of those ten, only FIVE were staffed.  I counted 77 people ... I wish I could make that bold and huge ...... 77 people waiting to be called, not counting all the people in the ante room and out the door.  If they have TEN WINDOWS, why are only FIVE of them open????

My number was finally called, and I quietly went to the window.  That cranky, rude person still works there.  It was difficult for me to concentrate on what she was saying.  I kept looking at her red (and I mean dyed RED) hair.  I explained about the address change, the business closing and losing my mail.

Once she completed the lien transfer paperwork, she stated my truck license was due.  Yes, ma'am ... in June.  I've been waiting for DMV to send the paperwork.  IT'S DUE she stated again.  Okay then, and I wrote out a check for $420, a $75 increase over last year because they need more money for the high speed rail train to nowhere.  What can I say, it's California.  If they need more money, they just tack on another charge to your license tags.
She handed me the tags and I beat a hasty retreat ... or at least I tried to.  I couldn't find a way through the sea of people to get to the door.  I finally plowed through the line into the appointment line and went the wrong direction against incoming traffic until I hit the door.  

I breathed a HUGE sigh of relief, mostly because I could actually breathe a little fresh air.  There's nothing like an overabundance of bodies requiring soap!!  

I did it!!  I survived the Lion's Den.  I can't believe I even did it in ONE trip.  The entire experience took about 45 minutes.  

While there, I was able to read up a bit on the new California Driver's License.  Wait until you hear THAT story.  If you are actually a resident (and a US citizen), you now have to PROVE it before you can get a REAL drivers license, as opposed to the fake license they are giving anyone and everyone.  But that's tomorrow's story!!

Monday, April 23, 2018

Back At It ... More Cooking

Okay, I feel bad I complained about the Chefs.  With my cooking track record, I shouldn't be saying anything, accept at least I'm a little more organized.  Forgetting the cooking water IS kind of a biggie.  At any rate, the left over pasta I had for breakfast was mighty tasty.  They certainly can put together a mean sauce.

After actually getting some sleep and a stiff neck (I'm still on the couch with the puppies), I will be back at it this morning.  First thing, I'm heading to the Elks Lodge to package up 300 lunch bags for Farm Safety Day at the Fairgrounds.

This is farm country, or at least it used to be.  Much of the producing lands have been turned into subdivisions, but there is still enough left to be of concern to first responders here.  The thing is, no one teaches their kids not to play with matches, not to swim in the canals and not to play in silos.

The Fire Department, Sheriff's Department and other emergency responders put on programs to teach grammar school kids who live in the city, how to stay alive.  The Elks, as usual, feed everyone for free!!  There will be barbecued hot dogs with all the fixings and lots of candy in the bags we prepare.  I never said it was a healthy lunch!!  THIS crew definitely has their act together, although I certainly wish they wouldn't start at 8:00 in the morning.

I spent a couple hours in the back yard enjoying my roses and the warm sunshine as the temperatures climbed up into the 80's.  Luckily I didn't get sun burned ... I was moving too fast chasing Cooper's ball!!  Jessie was asleep in the sun almost immediately.
I baked a little Hawaiian banana bread just to keep me busy and probably finished 35 games of solitaire.  Sitting is not my forte.  Miss Jessie is however, and requires constant supervision to keep her from chewing the bandages.  She's off all meds now accept the antibiotics.  YAY!!  No more gooey fingers from trying to hide the pills in her canned food.
Here's the princess sporting her camo bandage watching the Giants beat the Angels baseball team.  She was not impressed.
As soon as the lunch bags are full, I'm off to my Department of Motor Vehicles Appointment.  My, won't that be fun.  It's worse than pulling teeth ... the most horrible den of mean people you can possibly imagine.  Try as I might to make them smile, I have never succeeded.  "No smiling" is a prerequisite for the job.

You can never get anything done with one visit.  I'm already gearing up for at least three to get the lien dropped from my pickup title.  I have an unopened bottle of wine waiting in the fridge for when I return home totally frustrated.  I kid you not, this place has the most unhelpful, unfriendly people in the world.  I'm definitely saying my prayers before heading in the door!!!

On a more positive note, I'm picking up two quilts and leaving one for quilting.  I can't wait to see them!

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Do You Remember The Pain?

They say you don't remember pain and they would be right.  I had completely forgotten how awful it was with Jessie's last surgery.  The ups, the downs, carrying her everywhere ... the worrying about chewing the bandages off ... and the pain in my body from lack of sleep and achey joints.  It's all okay though, I'll survive once I get some sleep and see my chiropractor!!  HA!!

I tried to catch a few winks on the couch after the concrete bed night, but alas, the puppies kept me busy.  Every couple of hours they needed to go out and I have a slew of pills for Jessie.  Soon it was time to begin the gigantic task of cooking 60 pounds of penne pasta for the Relay for Life participants.  The Elks donate everything and feed everyone.
We usually work out of the College snack stand that actually has running water and lots of extra supplies.  It seems the event has been moved to the newest High School track field instead, where there is no building, no conveniences and no water.

I arrived early in time to unload ten cases of bottled water and fifteen cases of to-go boxes, salad dressing, salad, rolls and all the stuff to begin cooking.  The Elks has a big trailer that carries all of the cooktops and pots.

With everything in it's place, I began to assemble 200 zip lock bags of lettuce for salad.  It's a super easy way to hand it out, along with single packets of really good dressing.  That was the easy part.

Do you know how it is when you have four cooks in the kitchen?  The first major discovery was no water to cook the pasta in.  The second, no wrenches to hook up the propane lines.  The THIRD ... yes there was a third ... no one made sure the propane tanks were full.  Good grief Charlie Brown!!

I had wrenches in my truck and two of the cooks went to get water.  While Len (purple shirt) hooked up the propane heaters, I organized everything else for distribution.  Hey guys ... it's time to get that water boiling.  OH NO they said ... we have lots of time.

There was 15 gallons of water in each huge pot that needed to boil and it wasn't going to happen in 30 minutes.  I concentrated on heating up the two huge pans of sauce, thick with beef and sausage.  No surprise ... dinner was late.
Unfortunately, everyone's idea of how long to cook the pasta differed also.  I've done this four years, and 12 minutes makes it al dente.  I soon discovered that MY al dente is not BOB'S al dente.  The name was changed to protect the not so innocent.  SIX MINUTES he stated loudly.  Okay then .. I'll set the timer.  

Don't tell anyone, but the timer was set for ten minutes.  I yelled done and they pulled it out, not knowing the difference.  The pasta was perfect as I dished out well over 200 plates full of pasta. That's Pasta ... it's what for lunch for the next three days.  We had lots of leftovers.
Back home, Miss Jessie Belle is doing very well.  I've taken her off the pain medication since she can easily jump up on the back of the couch in her "princess" spot.  I know I can't trust her though ... if I'm going to be out of sight for ten minutes, the dreaded cone of shame goes on.  
Tired from four hours of pasta cooking and serving, I decided since we were all entrenched on the couch, that we would stay there for the night.  That didn't really leave Cooper much room, which meant he was up and down all night long.  Yup ... I was awake right along with him.  

I feel like I was drug through a knothole backwards.  Since it's such a spectacular spring day with lots of sunshine, I may just lay out on the lounge chair in the sun for a couple of hours and soak up some vitamin D and maybe a few winks.  

Saturday, April 21, 2018

The Floor Did NOT Escape!

I held down the floor all night and I'm here to say it did not escape.  That concrete is still intact and just as hard now as it became when it was poured.  The couch didn't sneak off either.  It's right where it's supposed to be.

Miss Jessie came home yesterday to a nice plush comforter bed on the floor at my feet.  I sat alongside her long enough for her to settle down and fall asleep.  Quiet as a mouse, I snuck up on the couch where I would have a good view.
The reason for all this?  You may remember her first surgery a few years ago when I took my eyes off her for ten minutes.  That was just long enough for disaster to happen.  She chewed the bandage and stitches off, leaving a gaping wound.  I wasn't about to let that happen again.  As long as I could see her nose, I knew it wasn't doing any damage.

Yes I have the dreaded cone of shame, but I would rather be miserable so she doesn't have to wear it.  I kept my foot next to her legs so if she began licking or chewing, I would know it.  Not only is her leg in a bandage, but she has two big sections on her back where they cut out some bad stuff.

Was I shocked at the price of all this?  OH YEAH!  It came to much more than the camera lens, but the Vet says this is her last chance for a longer life.  I'm soft hearted ... what can I say.
I spent the entire day on the couch.  At least it was softer than the floor.  For reading material, I chose my latest book, Paleo Instant Pot Cookbook.  Super simple recipes that look pretty tasty, except for the almond flour coating on the chicken.  I'm not so sure about that one.
I finally chose this recipe for dinner.  I'm not quite sure what fish stock is .... maybe fish sauce?  I have honey, although it's processed, not raw.  The chicken tights have me a little worried.  I'm not sure if Save Mart carries tights.  I wonder if I should get black or brown ones??  This of course was not one of the suggested books ... this one was MY choice.  
At 9:00 pm I finally woke up Miss Jessie and carried her to the soft plush bed on the floor, next to the stack of every blanket and quilt I own.  I got the big pile, not that it mattered.  Worried she would chew while I was asleep, assuming of course that I WOULD sleep, I put the cone on her.  She moaned and groaned for an hour before finally falling fast asleep.   

Cooper on the other hand, couldn't figure out what was going on and wouldn't settle down.  Two hours later, he was coughing and hacking, enough to make me jump up like a jack in the box.  I took him outside, after which he settled down in the pile next to me, taking up all the covers.  

Another two hours passed before Jessie was up and I was freezing.  I rearranged everything, took off the cone of shame and we all cuddled up.  I could have used about six advil at that point since my hips were screaming.  It will be over soon, just go to sleep.

Oh yay .... it's morning!!  I got up and limped to the kitchen where everyone was starving.  Three pills and half a can of food later, Miss Jessie perked right up.  
She's navigating the floors much better with her straight leg and so far leaving all the stitches on her back alone.  YAY!!  I on the other hand, am a wreck.  
I have to go help cook 50 pounds of noodles for the Relay For Life dinner the Elks provide free for everyone.  Pasta is not on my diet, but it's a free dinner.  I'm going to go take a handful of Advil, rig up Jessie with the cone of shame and try to get some sleep!!  

The last time I cooked the pasta, everyone was yelling at me to hurry up ... so I did.  I put the pasta in the 20 gallon pan of boiling water without the strainer to strain off the water when it was done.  You can't imagine the chaos that created.   If I don't get some sleep, that's very liable to happen again!!

Friday, April 20, 2018

I'm Hitting The Floor

The Vet called yesterday to say Miss Jessie Belle is doing fine and the surgery went well.  I should be able to pick her up some time this morning.  She's coming home with lots of pain pills and meds to keep her comfortable and probably sleeping most of the first couple days.

That means Mom will be hitting the floor all weekend and beyond.  She won't be allowed to jump up or down for some time, but she will try at every opportunity.  I've piled every blanket and bedspread I have on the floor next to the bed, where I will sleep in uncomfortableness for the next few nights.  It's okay, she's worth it and I have a fresh bottle of Advil.
Yesterday I was the lucky recipient of a wad of cash for one of my big Nikon lenses I never use.  It's mostly for portraits which I haven't done in ages.   Some years ago I sold one to my Photography Instructor, I think because I wasn't using it.  

It promptly got stolen out of the trunk of his car, along with all his other gear, none of which was insured.  That's catastrophic for a photographer, especially one who makes a living from it.  Eventually I purchased a newer full frame camera and sold him my old one at a hugely discounted rate ... after all, we had become really good friends.

Not long ago he asked what else I could sell him.  Don't ask me why, but somehow I ended up with another of the first lens.  That made TWO I didn't need.  What was I thinking????  At any rate, I sold him the second 24x70 yesterday for just enough to cover Jessie's surgery.  The Lord works in mysterious ways!!
The Instructor is happy, Nancy is happy (except for the sleeping on the floor part) and Jessie is happy she's coming home in a few hours.  She should be back to her old self in a matter of days.  I'm hoping this time it works a little longer, giving her a couple more years of traveling with her Mom and fighting with Cooper over space next to Mom's leg on the couch.  Rock on Miss Jessie!!

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Gotta Love Those Critters

As you know, it's a zoo in my house.  It's even worse this morning as I can't feed anyone.  Here's my Jessie girl not long after her arrival at my house.  She was rather rambunctious back in the day and decided to put my horses in their place.  She got stepped on, requiring a quick trip to the Vet.
She's getting old, my little girl ... thirteen at last count.  Unfortunately the last time I was in Oregon, she developed a large cyst on her hock which had to be removed.  As happens sometimes, the Vet didn't do a very good job.

What he did discover was cancer.  That required another surgery on her hind leg plus one on her front leg because it's gotten into the lymph glands there.  Weird, right?
Ever since then, her back leg has been great.  I have to say my Vet here is a good one.  Her front leg, not so much.
Terrible picture, but you can kind of see it has returned on her front leg.  A trip to the Vet yesterday confirmed my thoughts about it blowing out (causing irreparable damage) if we don't do another surgery.  It's only been a year since the last one.  

So this morning, my poor baby girl doesn't get any breakfast.  Making it worse, even though I tried to sleep in, Cooper was having none of it and we got up earlier than normal.  At the moment, they are both looking up and begging for food, wondering what the heck happened to Mom.  

Boy do I hate going through this again.  These are my kids and I don't do well when they are in pain.  The Doc promised to give me lots of pain pills along with that HUGE bill.  I'm going to need them more than Jessie.  
Wish us luck ... I'm getting out every lucky charm I've ever owned and lining them up on the table.   I'll drop her off this morning and pick her up Friday morning.  

On the upside, Cooper's heart worm/flea and tick/worm medicine was $98 for one year.  I'm sorry, but that's just ridiculous!  But I paid it because they are my babies.  THIS time I decided to drop the flea/tick part since I haven't noticed any fleas or ticks in the last three years, for a savings of $40.  Almost half!!  

In the last bit of news, third time's the charm, after the first ten tries.  I finally got the outside security light control switch to work correctly, turning on at night and off during the day.  WOOHOO!!  I've no idea what I did really, but it's working and that's all that counts.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Good Luck Charms!

Welcome to the wonderful world of Bingo, that gambling addiction of the century around here, and the Magic Kingdom.  Our usual five met upstairs for the popcorn and peanut indoctrination.  I don't know where they get them, but those are the best peanuts in the country.  Popcorn out of an old time machine couldn't be better either ... a great wake-me-up for the crowds to come.
Too bad for us, the crowds never did show up.  Instead of our usual 125-150, only 88 walked through the doors last night, leaving lots of room on the tables for winning charms.  I tried to snap a couple of pictures for you, but that's bad luck.  Who knew?  

It seems many had made the rounds ... Ceres, Madera, the High School and the two gambling palaces within 200 miles.   If you've already lost all your cash, you don't play.  Actually they do play, but with quarters, dimes and nickels from the kids piggy banks.  We were inundated with change.

Occasionally we are inundated with food, but alas, the bakers and shakers didn't bring us anything.  The Castle Lawyer and I were on our own.  I admit, we conspired.  We got the King to order pizza from Costco for the workers.  At $10 for each HUGE pizza, it doesn't break the bank to buy three for the group.  

To make it even better, we actually got ICE CREAM for dessert.  One of the charities we support has a huge auction every year.  Our support consists of paying $150 for the Costco chocolate cake ... you know the one I'm talking about ... or as they did this year, $200 for a year's worth of ice cream from Baskin Robbins. 

Truthfully, it's only two quart containers once a month, but it's more than enough for a great Castle treat.  TWO in one night.  I guess our luck was rolling!!

Later in the evening as we doled out cash, it got even better.  One of the big winners at a big casino had headed to Reno to keep her lucky streak rolling.  There she purchased something like a dozen lucky charm key chains, complete with spinning, clear glass crystal covered dice.  

You're going to laugh, but these lovely ladies are so superstitious they give US the lucky charms, hoping to garner favor with the Gods of Luck!!  Many times they even ask us to pick their cards.  If they win, we will have to pick them for the next month!!  
It definitely brought me luck, since I survived another night and we balanced to the tee, not to mention the pizza and ice cream.  I think I only got half a dose of luck however, because my stomach wasn't the least bit happy with me!!

In one more show of lucky me, I ordered and actually RECEIVED a dozen cans of my special coffee.  I couldn't be happier that I'm lucky enough to have someone somewhere still making this morning delight.  Thank you to my readers for giving me the secret location on Amazon where I can purchase it in record numbers.
This morning I'm headed off to have my Jeep smogged ... another costly California thing.  Then it's off to the local gun range to introduce the Castle Lawyer to the CCW requirements.  Get it now folks ... and purchase lots of ammo, because very soon the NEW LAW requires you to be registered with the State in order to buy ANY ammo.  

I'm pretty sure the criminals will all run down and register, causing crime to come to a screeching halt.  I of course will just go to Arizona if I need more!!

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Thunder And Lightning ... OH MY!!

It was a distinctly different day yesterday.  We really haven't had seasons here in California for many years, nor has it rained much over the last ten or twelve years.  That should be no surprise.  When the first settlers came to this big valley, it was mostly desert.

All of a sudden, THIS year the earth has turned enough to provide us with gallons upon gallons of water.  Luckily I live in a sandy soil area and haven't seen any flooding or major problems, except my floor.

It's been a beautiful sunny 70 degrees every day until the skies opened up and dumped at least an inch on my house.  One minute it looked like this albeit windy ......
And ten minutes later it looked like this.  The rain came down harder than I've ever seen it before.  We were slammed for about three hours.
Rivers poured off the roof.  It was a good day to stay inside and watch baseball games in dryer sections of the country.  Except .... I forgot to close the vent on the rig.  OH NO!!  I ran outside, got totally soaked, closed the vent and cleaned up the water on the floor.  No biggie!!

Just for fun, I took a look at the ice storm taking over the East Coast of Canada and the US.  YIKES!!  I'm glad I don't live in THAT region!
In no time there was a loud racket outside and hail was coming down.  That's weird, it's not cold enough for hail!  You can see it melted rather quickly.  That's when the thunder began.  Huge rolling claps so loud the puppies jumped up and started barking!!  

Lightning flashed all around, but not over my house, thank goodness.  It was almost scary, not having been around anything like that in so many years.
A little rock painting, a little sewing and a little baseball rounded out the day.  OH ... so exciting!!
Wait .... I did do one more thing.  I paid for my Jeep license plate sticker over a month ago and have not received my tags.  Also, in the frantic act of throwing stuff away, I actually discovered the lien release on my truck, signed in 2012.  A trip to the dreaded DMV office is in order.  

Our office has the distinction of being the worst on the planet for rude people and waiting in line, which goes down the street and around the corner.  The last time I made an appointment, I only had to wait one day.  THIS time as I tried to navigate their website, I discovered I would have to wait two weeks.  Apparently they have decided they were making too many appointments every day, causing way too much work.

I dread going there ... it makes my blood pressure rise and my hair fall out.  I have never had the correct paperwork and it requires two or three trips for every transaction.  To make matters worse, I now understand they have NO paper titles for vehicles.  It's all electronic.  With their track record, I don't see how this is going to work well at all.  Wish me luck.

I'm off today to the Magic Kingdom of Bingo.  I think I'll check with the local gurus and gather a few talismans to bring good luck into my house.  I can use all the help I can get!  

Monday, April 16, 2018

Tastes Like Fish

Anyone ever take this stuff?  Ewwwwwwwwwwwww!!!  Sorry, but it's not on the list of things I want to put in my mouth.  Why bring this up?  Because after getting my test results, the Doctor's office called and said I should be taking this TWICE a day.  Obviously, they have never taken it themselves.

Not only does everything then taste like fish ... really old dead fish .... but YOU begin to smell like really old dead fish.  No thank you!!  I think I would take the pills before this stuff.  Yucky-poo!!!
So what better to do than dive right in to the paleo diet.  Not the cake, in spite of how "yummy" it looks (?????) but it was Stag Day at the Elks RV Park.  It's a hold out from the old days of the men only club.  

If you were a male member of the club, you were a Stag.  One day out of the year, you got a FREE steak dinner for your dues.  Nowadays the ladies are also invited to join but the name never changed. The free steak dinner with brown lettuce salad, a great bowl of beans and a roll sans butter (meaning without) really wasn't worth our $148 a year dues.  Oh wait .... there was free beer!!

Who knows how to deliver a glass of beer from a keg?  I got a first hand lesson and ended up pouring for the long line of beer drinkers.  Little to no foam I might add!!

Then there was the cake!!  I think the person who baked and decorated these had one too many jello shots.  Hey ... in my book, cake is cake.  Frosting only makes it better.  It was all good until I took the first bite.  The bottom quarter inch was burned black.  Probably a good thing since it's not on my diet anyway.  I ate just the frosting.
About half of our Bingo crew showed up, so we pooled our money and waited for the raffle.  There's ALWAYS a raffle.  Prince Charming gave me his tickets and said I could keep anything I won.  Last year it was a $14 collapsible camping chair that collapsed the first time I sat in it!!  It's okay, I was just thrilled to win something!!  

THIS year it was solar lights from  I figured there were only four, but once I got the box open and dumped everything on the table, there were SIX!!  I promptly set them up in the back yard.  They don't really put out a lot of light, but the pattern they make on the concrete is pretty.  MUCH better than a collapsible chair!  
Today will be rest and relaxation day, gearing up for the Magic Kingdom tomorrow night.  By the way, my New York Steak was cooked perfectly.  A good start to the Paleo diet!!