Sunday, July 21, 2019

Pancakes On The Patio

With a break in the action of the morning critters ... not really, but you're probably tired of deer pictures ... I decided to try and find something new for breakfast.  This Keto diet thing has me eating a LOT of eggs.  In fact, everything about this has me confused.  Eating a lot of whipping cream and eggs just goes against the grain and my years of doctors saying all that stuff is bad for you.

There seem to be a lot of bread recipes out there, but so far I'm doing fine without it.  So how about trying some pancakes?   Here's some almond flour cakes.  They look pretty yummy, right?
Smothered in syrup, they would have been awesome.  After all, anything smothered in syrup HAS to be pretty tasty.  Just don't use THIS syrup.   You might as well be having thick water on your pancakes.  Basically, there's no taste AT ALL!!

Maybe it would help if I added half a bottle of maple flavoring?  I really am trying to be good, but am stuck at 11 pounds lost.  Hey, I'm not complaining because my clothes fit so much better.  Basically, all I did was give up bread, pasta, rice and sugar.  That's 75% of my approved food groups.
While not really enjoying the pancakes on the patio, I watched as this guy went back and forth across the top of the wall.  His coloring is magnificent ... copper and green in the sunlight.  He's also pretty big and really scaly like a dinosaur!  
That's when the slow train came by.  Forget the pancakes, what are they doing?  The thing in front of the CAT was moving back and forth along the tracks.  I can't see how since it was going over the TOP of the cars.
It backed all the way up, made lots of racket, then the excavator held the side down as it pulled forward.
AHA ... that thing was picking up and depositing those concrete blocks on the car nearest the CAT.  Then the CAT would pick up a stack and place them on the ground, all while the train was still moving.  Don't we have railroad ties any more?
Once that row was gone, it came back and deposited another layer.  Fascinating to watch, which I did for about 30 minutes.  Pretty soon the entire train came back without any more blocks on the six cars between the engine and the CAT.  Well that was fascinating to watch!  Not as good as deer, but a distraction none the less.
While I watered the cactus garden in the morning cool of 80 degrees, I contemplated my cabin fever.  You know I can't stand to sit still for very long and watching 12-15 trains a day going by just isn't doing it for me.  Time to head out to SOMEWHERE.

That's when I noticed another beauty blooming, which probably means I'm watering the cactus a tad too much.  Isn't she pretty?
Lucky for him, I haven't seen the tarantula since our first encounter, which means the plants really ARE getting watered after a triple check of the premises before I step outside.  

In the meantime, I have another visitor to deal with in the guest bathroom.  Now where did I put those firecrackers??

Saturday, July 20, 2019

My Sixth Sense Is Kicking In!!

You know how every so often you just feel something's up?  It happens to me quite often in the Arizona desert.  I think that's how I found that scorpion.  I mean really, who looks in the bathtub every hour or so?

Me ... I do.  Mostly I'm looking for those huge spiders.  The Westerfields sent this photo to me from Just Joking.  It's ALL me!!  This is what my house is going to look like if I find another big one inside.
So when I get that feeling, I always jump up and look out the big sliding glass door.  My camera is strategically positioned within a three foot reach, because more times than not, I find something to photograph.

Look who came to visit this day!  A real beauty with a huge rack of horns.  This is not the same one that previously visited.  I ever so quietly opened the door to get a better picture.  Pictures actually, like fifteen in a few seconds.
I watched for a bit and sat back down.  Wait ... I need to look again.  There were TWO!  How cool is that.  This time I didn't sit back down.  I just stood perfectly still and watched.
I was pretty sure they were going to empty my small water station.  Maybe I could sneak out and turn it on to refill the trough.
That's when I spotted him in the bushes.  Oh my goodness there are THREE coming to drink.  All males it appeared, with antlers in various stages of velvet.
As I continued to watch one more came from down the hill.  FOUR!!  There are FOUR deer drinking at my station.  I was smiling from ear to ear.  There have never been this many!  They ate a little and drank a little more, draining it completely.
I think I need a bigger bucket!!!!  Instead, later in the day, I hooked two garden hoses together and ran it to the station.  Now I can sneak outside and turn on the water, giving them plenty to drink.
Last summer there were no deer at all, so you can imagine my excitement over THIS year!!  I'm so happy my sixth sense kicked in or I would have missed the whole thing.  It always pays to listen to whoever is in your head saying "go look"!!  It might just be a scorpion in your bathtub!!

Come time for sunset, it didn't disappoint.  My sixth sense kicked in again as it does every evening.  Go look at the sunset it says.  
It's really good exercise too, since it kicked in about eighteen times.  Every time I thought it was the best it could be, it got better, so I got up and took another picture.  This went on for a good 40 minutes.  
I'll probably be sore tomorrow from getting up and down so often!!  The second day is always worse.

It's a cool 78 degrees this morning, so I'm outside soaking it in.  My Giants baseball team are finally kicking some butt ... even winning after an excruciating 16 inning game.  At long last they are in third place with plenty of baseball to go.  

With the 103-105 days, I'll probably be staying close to home.  Several women have been lost in the desert recently, with only one rescued.  It's just too hot to be out roaming around, even if you think you are prepared.

Friday, July 19, 2019

The Fish Are Alive!!

I had the thought this morning that the precious goldfish shouldn't be left out of the story.  When Dan built his greenhouse, he thought "how nice would it be to hear the sound of a waterfall".  So he built one in the corner.

The next thing you know, there was a pond.  What's a pond without fish for the granddaughter to feed?  Besides, they will keep the pond clean of moss, right?   That would be my thought too.  Little did he know just how tough these little guys are.

Now they are HUGE and well ... you can't just let them go in the river cuz there ISN'T a river.  My dad used to put goldfish in our big horse watering troughs to help keep the moss at bay.  They lived forever until the cats finally snagged them.

So that's why I'm babysitting the fish who live in the aquarium during the hot summer months.  They really are fun to watch, and this picture just proves they are still alive and kicking!
I've figured out how to water the cactus from far away, although thank goodness the intermittent rain is helping considerably.  In the meantime, I picked up a few miscellaneous pieces of fabric to start the cactus quilt.
This is such a good idea for me since it takes a very long time to hand sew all these little pieces onto the fabric.  The longer it takes, the less I spend on MORE fabric.
You trace the pattern on butcher paper, iron it to fabric, cut it out, then turn and iron the edges.  A couple hours of hand sewing later, there you have it.  
After previous encounters with the wonderful wildlife of this location, I never enter a room without peaking around the corner and turning the lights on.  Remember this guy in the bathroom?  My feet never even come close to entering until I do a double take EVERY single time!!   
I know I'm weird, but I check not only the floors and walls, but the bathtub as well.  THIS is why!  Sorry the picture is so blurry, but neither my big camera nor my phone would focus since he's so tiny.  Do these things come from eggs??  Exactly WHERE did he come from?  It's the tiniest thing I've ever seen, about 3/8 of an inch long.  

Thank goodness my bathtub caught him before he got away.  That's when I noticed all the dead spiders in the tub that he had been snacking on.  Alas, he went for a short ride down a long drain pipe.  I'll probably get another $10 added to my water bill since I left it running for about 15 minutes, just to be sure he made it to the ocean!!
Well .... that was a nice break from sewing!!  There is still lots of embellishment work to be done on these squares, but basically this one is complete.
I've got a long way to go ........  and that's a GOOD thing.
You will excuse me if I go check the bathrooms.  Several times a day now I do a quick once over to be sure there are no critters lurking around.  On another note, the bed is wonderful.  Not that I sleep any better, but I don't wake up with achey anything.  That gives me the extra strength I need to fight the critters!!  

Thursday, July 18, 2019


Look who came back to see me!!!  It was about 4:30 while I was fixing dinner that I looked out the back window to see Buck again.  That's his name now ... Buck the buck.
He's so funny how he licks his nose and mouth from top to bottom every time he takes a swig of water.
This time however, he stuck around to nibble on the palo verde trees and the tiny bit of grass on the ground.  This kind of critter can come around ANY time they want!!
On the other hand ..... LOOKIE HERE!!!  This will be the reason all of those plants on my patio die!!  Late last night I went to open the door to let the puppies out.  I always turn on the light (it's a bug light, thus the yellow color) and check for snakes ... or coyotes.  I was pretty shocked to see this guy at the bottom of my steps.
I know they eat lots of bugs, but they creep me out.  I gave him a very wide berth ... they can jump you know.  How do I know that?   Because while sitting in my living room at the old ranch house, I spotted one on the hearth.  I walked over, gave him a poke and he jumped about a foot high and towards me!!  I screamed, climbed up on the couch and called my neighbor.  Needless to say, he didn't live long.

You'll be happy to know that THIS time I walked way around and moved the hose so he would run off into the yard.  Instead, he turned around and ran straight under the plant table.  I'm sorry Chance family, but your plant menagerie is probably going to die for lack of water.  I'm not going anywhere NEAR that table!!
In the late afternoon I decided to barbecue dinner ... it's so much cooler inside when I cook OUTSIDE.  I got my table back from the flowerbed (I'm sure one plant is a goner) and gingerly took the cover off.  Thank goodness there were no critters!!

Lookie here!!  I think I just might be getting this barbecuing thing down pat!!  
I have to say this is probably the best barbecued dinner I've ever made.  Chops were cooked perfectly (four minutes per side) and the zucchini was as tasty as zucchini can get.  I only ate one chop so I could extend the goodness as long as possible ... three meals worth!
Finally, the weather is supposed to cool off this week to highs in the mid 90's, lows in the mid 70's.  I guess that's cool-ER anyway, with chances of rain all week.  Maybe I will finally be able to get out of the house on a ghost town adventure!!  

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

First Time EVER!!!

There's one nice thing about the monsoon season ... the sunrises and sunsets always seem to be spectacular.  This is NOT the first sunrise I've seen, but boy was it fabulous!!
THIS was a first time EVER!!  The only magazine my family ever received was Arizona Highways.  Weird since we lived in the high desert of California close to the Mojave Desert.  Those pictures!  My mother put the fear of God into us kids when it came to venomous critters.  I was always too scared to even touch the magazine because it was full of images of gila monsters and rattlesnakes.  

Yesterday, as I walked nonchalantly over to fill the water station at the Chance residence, I almost stepped on this big guy ... and I mean BIG!!!  I admit, I screamed like a little girl.  He's at least 15 inches long and three inches across.  What a brute!!!  He seemed to be tracking something, tasting the rocks along the ground.  At one point, he even backed up to get a better taste!!  I jumped ... he ran.  They are pretty fast!!
Here's another first time EVER!!  It was 107 degrees yesterday when I got the warning for lightning and flooding.  Sure enough, it poured down rain for about ten minutes.  Not just a little, but a deluge! 107 degrees and rain???
To keep the First Ever luck going, I decided to cook an entire package of bacon.  I've seen blog readers do this before, but have never tried it.  Why is the bbq on the ground?  Because the table is shading the newly planted sticks that I'm sure are not going to survive!!
In the end, they came out okay.  A few had burnt ends, but those are a delicacy, right?  The best part EVER ..... no cleanup!!  Thank you for the tip!!!
The last First Time EVER was the sunset.  At least the cloud cover kept it a tad bit cooler the rest of the day.  The sunset was something else since the rain all around me never stopped.  
The longer it went, the more incredible it looked.  These pictures don't even begin to do it justice.
There is just one bad thing about the rain.  It brings out all kinds of critters.  Another first happened late last night, but I'll wait and show you tomorrow.  At some point I should be getting used to this, right??

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

SURPRISE!!! Another Critter!

Isn't he cute???  This little guy has been living underneath the table that sits over the newly planted whatever it was (gosh, I've forgotten already).  Surprise!!  No more anticipation!!
He's not the REAL surprise however.  You can bet "I" was surprised when I looked out the window, as I do a hundred times a day, and saw this baby!  A beautiful buck growing a gorgeous pair of antlers!  I had seen tracks in the dirt previously, so I knew SOMEONE was visiting, I just didn't know who.
All I have ever seen around here are does (the female kind) and if I'm lucky, a fawn or two.  
He was very wary, taking over five minutes to even come up close to the water.  He finally took a very long sip.  Another few minutes went by before he drank again.  Even though my glass door was closed, I think he could hear the click of the camera with those big ears.
He licked up every drop after each drink.  These horns, now covered with velvet, are going to be huge! You can barely see, but he has a cute little white tail, which I'm guessing makes him a whitetail deer.  A beauty to behold!!  How could I be so lucky?
There's been no more rain, but it has been falling all around me.  Yesterday was a hot 108 in Tucson, 105 where I am with a low overnight of 84.  I keep the house at 80, so there was no opening windows or doors for me!!

I discovered quite by accident there was an appliqué class going on at my favorite quilt store, taught by a gal I met at a quilt show a couple years ago.  I crashed the class with excellent results.  Sometimes you just have to put on your BOLD pants and give it a shot.  I'll explain more later.  

In the meantime, I'm watching out my sliding glass door like a hawk!!!

Monday, July 15, 2019

Am I Part Indian?

Never poo poo my rain dancing.  It works!!!  But first, I had to move that oh so heavy bed out of MY bedroom into the spare room.  I moved it an inch at a time, I'm sure the equivalent of a mile.  I had to back out once completely, to turn it around and fit it in the door.  
I expected to be very sore this morning, but surprisingly, the rain dancing not only brings rain, but gets rid of overworked muscle soreness.  Who knew??  Here's the new beauty in all her glory.  Ashley Furniture delivered it right on time and had it set up in minutes.  
It's Jessie approved, mostly because at the bottom is a 15" tall ottoman I purchased so she didn't have to jump so high.  She's taken a tumble or two in her old age.
So I'm pretty sure I'm part Indian.  I did my little rain dance yesterday, careening around the house like a crazy woman.  It doesn't take long, mostly because I run out of breath.  At any rate, in the late afternoon, what should I hear but thunder.
I checked the forecast.  YES!!!  Look at that rain heading my way.  
It poured and poured!!  Not a lot of lightning, but lots of beautiful water.
Sunset came along with even more rain.  The desert smells so good when it's soaked!
Really, I MUST be part Indian.  Maybe there was someone in the woodpile.   Just as the sun went down, lightning began to light up the sky.
That's when I remembered my lovely new bed.  I thought boy am I going to sleep well tonight.  NOT!  That little rain dance created a monster.  I woke up at midnight to sounds worse than any freight train.  The wind was shaking the house and rattling the trees louder than I've ever heard.  It was scary!

No more rain dancing for me!!  Well just one.  I woke up again at 3:00 with the worst charlie horse ever in my leg.  I had to get up and dance around a little for relief.  That's when the SECOND charlie horse hit the OTHER leg.  I never got back to sleep.  My rain dancing days are over!!