Thursday, January 31, 2019

SUCCESS!!! Patience Won Out!

I'm probably the least patient person you know.  I hate waiting for people to show up for whatever it might be.  It's even worse when I go to Lowes to order a refrigerator and there's 10 people in line behind ONE customer service person.

So when Rodrigo didn't show up the first three days, you can imagine my frustration.  When he called to say he had a flat tire, I didn't believe him, but I tried my best to be nice.

Wednesday morning he called AGAIN to say this time it was a broken water line.  Oh please!!  I laughed and told him I was going to Lowes to buy my OWN tools.  He promised to be here after lunch.  I smiled like that emoji guy with his tongue hanging out.

In the meantime, I had a great lunch with Lynn and Dave Cross at Arizona Pizza.  If you ever want a good lunch, stop in and have their one slice meal deal.  Great balls of fire!!!  Those slices were 12 inches long and 6 inches wide and there were TWO of them on Dave's plate.

Nicely stuffed, we came back to the house and chatted for some time before I decided to call Rodrigo again.  Amazingly, he was on his way.  Dave suggested they leave, since his truck was taking up half the driveway, not allowing anyone else in.  We will catch up again later.

Success!!  Rodrigo made it!!  He looked at the problem and said yes, he does this about every day.  The question was can you do it NOW!!  "Of course!"  Just the words I wanted to hear.  He unloaded his tools and pulled out the fridge.  YIKES!!!

It looks like there was a nice water leak at some point.  We checked it out up one side and down the other.  It's completely dry with no damage other than the printed wood paper coming off the cabinets. Yes really ... it's not even REAL wood on the sides, only the fronts are the real deal.
As he unrolled the cords, I mentioned how I liked to work with tools, but had no idea which one to use for this cut.  He showed me how to handle every one of three and told me where to buy them.  Harbor Freight he said.  Even as cheap as they are, they will probably last my lifetime.  
He drew a line and used a hand skill saw with a blade deep enough to cut a 2 x 4.  I remember Miss Terry telling me about this one.  Then he used a reciprocal saw to finish the ends and an oscillating saw to cut the sides to the back.  Pretty cool.  The second guy held up a vacuum to catch all the sawdust.
All done for a measly $100.  I probably could have purchased a set of tools for that price, but found out the refrigerator installation would be free, so I'm feeling better about spending the cash.  The good news is he does all kinds of handiwork around the house.  Just call him ... but don't be in a hurry!!
Just then we turned around to find my computer and table covered in sawdust.  WHAT HAPPENED??  None of us noticed as he vacuumed, the dust went in one side and out the other.  Seems the filter came off inside the machine.  What a mess!!  That's more like what would happen to ME!  They cleaned up every spec of dust.

The best news yet is my new fridge will be delivered TOMORROW!!  YAY!!!  So it paid to have a little patience.  Okay, I admit I wasn't patient at ALL.  I just really didn't want to go stand in line at Lowes.  I figured if I procrastinated enough, the fridge would just magically appear.

As a reward, I slathered my morning bagel with this wonderful jam Lynn brought as a house warming gift.  How sweet was that!!  Tomorrow I'll put it back in my NEW fridge.
As much as I would like to snuggle with my puppies, I hear Harbor Freight calling my name.  I just might have to go see what new tool I need to repair underneath one cabinet and to cut up Jonathan's chew sticks.  Besides, nothing is as attractive as a gal with a skillsaw, right???

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Third Time Is NOT A Charm

I woke up yesterday to slightly warmer temperatures, not that 44 is warmer.  Daytime actually warmed up to 68.  I can deal with that.  It's all due to the cloud cover and the rain forecast for this weekend.  It's okay though ..... I'll be inside watching the Super Bowl!

The third time has NOT been charming.  Early yesterday afternoon was the third appointment made by the installation guy to see if he can cut my cabinets off by half an inch.  You didn't think he would really show up, right?  Neither did I.  He called at 6:30 to say he got a flat tire.  Yeah right!!

It's too bad he's going to lose the sale for Christies in Tucson.  Not that it would have been a really huge sale, so I doubt they really care either.  It's sad that service has become a thing of the past.  I guess I just wasn't charming enough.

Oh he said he would come by today right after lunch, but I'm not holding my breath.  I will probably end up at Lowes this afternoon to purchase an oscillating saw and do the job myself.  While I'm there, I'll order my new fridge and microwave oven.
The third time wasn't a charm for these guys either.  I received an email with this exact wording.

Hello Microsoft user,

You account will soon be be terminated due to the breakdown we have on our system and our engineers are working on it all, fixing the bugs and all error has been debug.

Kindly Activate to debug error and avoid losing all you files and inbox.

Note:  Failure to activate might lost all document.

Microsoft Outlook Online

Since I didn't quite believe their excellent use of the English language, I waited until I received the THIRD email before deleting everything.  Sorry guys, even the fifth time won't be a charm for you.

This phone call didn't charm me either.

You iCloud account has been breached before using in the Apple device please contact Apple support advisor.  Press two to listen to this message again or if you wish to contact us, call our toll-free number 518-312-4937.

Feel free to call them and say you tried using your Orange device and it worked, so you just threw your Apple device away.   It was rotten anyway.

Company is coming .... it's time to straighten things up and put away Cooper's six balls, two chew toys and his play blanket.  I sure hope they don't mind walking the dog gauntlet just to get in the house.

FYI ... the turkey did NOT taste like bacon.  I really had my hopes up, but alas, it just tasted like turkey.  Kind of tough turkey to boot.  I guess my mistake was following the directions on the package and roasting it at 350 degrees instead of 325 like most I've seen.  I've no doubt however that I will try that bacon thing again!!  Who can resist bacon??

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

A Menagerie of Stuff

Way back in the day, the Bird Menagerie was where we raised exotic birds, like Jonathan.  We had lots of different varieties, just like this blog ..... lots of different STUFF.

First off, in case you were wondering about Dairy Queen's Kansas City pulled pork on a pretzel roll, it is one of the best sandwiches I've had in quite a while.  They could have left the dill pickles off for me, but it was VERY tasty and well worth the $5.99 price.
Having heard company is coming tomorrow, Jonathan took a bath, then sat shivering in the early morning cold.  Silly bird!  I had to grab a towel and "burrito" him (wrap him up like a burrito) to help dry his wet feathers.  Believe me, he was none too happy about THAT!!
Quilting with friends turned into a chat fest and we got very little, if any, sewing done.  They helped me choose borders and showed me a new app for my phone that does all the figuring for you.  After a great lunch provided by Chef Patty, we all headed our separate ways to go home and actually sew.

Since Patty donated that turkey I was going to cook, I took her suggestion to cover it with bacon.  She just happened to have a package available.  On the way out the door, who should come to visit but Mr. Roadrunner.  He jumped right up on their porch to say hello.  
Back home as the turkey cooked, I worked on my latest quilt, noticing all the while that the heater had not come on.  That's weird.  I walked in to the kitchen to find the oven venting into the room.  I've never seen that before.  Just so you know, it's not a good idea to leave those chocolate chips sitting on the stovetop where that vent is.
Two hours later I had a tasty dinner of crispy turkey flavored bacon.  Who wants turkey when you've got BACON!!!  Add in a little asparagus and it was dinner!!  I'll try out the turkey today for sandwiches.
I still haven't heard from the cabinet cutter guy, so I'll make a trip downtown today to see what the problem is.  I did find a YouTube video about cutting the bottom with an oscillating saw.  It was pretty small and hand held, so if the guy doesn't show up, I have an alternative.  

In the meantime, I have some housecleaning to do for company coming tomorrow.  I'm excited to see Lynn and Dave Cross, RV friends from way back!!!  To make it even better, we're going out to have pizza for lunch.  You didn't think "I" would cook, did you???  No way would I subject them to that!

Monday, January 28, 2019

Gymkhana - Riding Horses Through Obstacles

But wait you say!!  This doesn't look like a horse!!  You would be right.  Currently holding court at the Pima County Fairgrounds is Jurassic Quest.  I have to say, it's pretty cool.  The first thing you see is triceppliplots or something like that.  Maybe it was the spinosaurus.  Anyway, it's BIG!
I'd love to show you pictures of the rest of it, but alas, they don't let you get very close without having paid.  I'm sure it's a bundle and truthfully, I figured the little kids would laugh at me riding one of the dinosaurs.  

They had an entire barn full, all tethered with chains.  Here's the clincher ... you could climb up and ride every single one.  They were all mechanical, moved around quite a bit and truly looked like the real thing.  I would probably eeeehawwww and make a fool of myself.

On to the gymkhana.  I bet you've seen barrel racing before.  This is the precursor to that.  It's mostly a kids event, but there were adults playing too.  There's a keyhole race, pole bending, barrel racing, etc. 
This is Laila, the Chance family granddaughter.  Having been around horse shows all my life, I've seen lots of kids that have absolutely no talent for this whatsoever.  THIS kid is not one of them.  She's a natural with horses.  First off, this is perfect posture.  Feet flat, back straight, arms straight, an extension of the reins ... she's a winner in equitation, as evidenced by all her ribbons.
This is pole bending ... I think they call it something else now ... you run down the arena, turn around and navigate back and forth through the poles, turn around again and navigate back, before screaming back to the finish line where the timer lives.
She's riding Ely, a pretty fast go getter.  
Sometimes he's not so happy when you want him to run faster.  A little kick up of the heals didn't unsettle Laila one bit.  There was one little girl who got bucked off of what we call a sour little pony. Gymkhana, as fun as it is for the kids, is NOT fun for the horses.  Most get jerked around by the reins and jammed in the sides with spurs, causing them to revolt.  I can't blame them.
This is LuLu (the horse) along with Jessica (??).  I'm really not sure since there were over 40 people riding this event.  Of course I would remember the horse's name.  For a 20-something year old, LuLu's still got it!!
At long last, I headed back to the house since I could hear the puppies calling for dinner three miles away.  It was a fun day, making me reminisce about my horse show days.  If only that gal would let me on her horse for an hour, she wouldn't have had to show off her training skills when he ran away with her.  I miss the ranch and my horses.

This morning I'm gathering up all my quilting mistakes and problems before heading off to the neighbor's house for sewing day.  I heard Patty made her famous chicken chili for the group lunch.  I can't wait!!

Sunday, January 27, 2019

MISSING ....... Update

I don't usually post this kind of stuff because you never really know if anything on the Web is true or not.  In this case, it's something I've always worried about, just a little in the back of my brain.  It's why I traded in my fifth wheel for a Class A rig.  I can park it at night, never even opening the door and keep it locked until daytime.  

Turns out you CANNOT believe things on the web.  I deleted all of this story.  Someone called the number and found it to be incorrect.  So now they say a repo guy was looking for the trailer.  Either way, true or not true, you can't believe everything you see on the internet.  Now I'm wondering about all those missing kid ads I've seen!!!!!

On to the business of the day .... I'm STILL waiting.  Here's pictures of the problem at the top of the fridge.  This is where the half inch across the bottom needs to disappear.
It's going to be easier than it looks, as I've already taken this sheeting off.  There is just enough "lip" to be removed to allow the fridge to slide underneath once it's gone.  The sides don't matter since the fridge is not that wide.  The main problem will be horizontal cutting.  I'll need a guide which I think can be clamped on if I remove the doors.  I would still rather have someone ELSE do the work!!
So .... I received a message from Mrs. Chance yesterday that they were leaving for the fairgrounds at 11:30 to watch the granddaughter ride her horse in gymkhana.  I changed clothes quickly, watered the puppies and headed out the door with my camera.  

That's funny ... as I pulled in to the fairgrounds I didn't see one single horse.  A couple of dinosaurs, but no horses.  The dinosaur extravaganza has hit Tucson.  I don't know if you've ever seen this, but it was pretty fascinating.  

I only got one picture which I'll show you tomorrow because everything was blocked off, making you  PAY for the experience.  I didn't want to pay.  I did call Patty to learn the gymkhana was SUNDAY.  It was Sunday they were leaving for the fairgrounds.  Somehow the word Sunday escaped me.

Back to the house with nothing else exciting going on, I decided to whip up a batch of peanut butter cookies.  Anyone else not familiar with a gas oven?  Never in all my years have I had to bake with gas.  It is NOT the same as electric.  My range has a gas stovetop and an electric oven.

First off it took almost 30 minutes to come to temperature.  I heard whooshing noises that were a little scary and saw fire underneath the floor of the oven.  The first batch came out black on the bottom and raw in the middle.  How does that happen??  
They'll be fine .... a little char never hurt anyone.  I raised the rack to the middle.  That batch came out a tad bit overdone on the bottom, but at least they weren't black.  Still, they were not done even a little bit in the middle.  I left them in for another two minutes.  

Finally, in desperation, I moved the rack to the very top and baked the last batch for three more minutes than the recipe said.  YAY!!  I finally have twelve edible cookies out of three dozen.  Maybe the coyotes will like a little cookie snack.

So what's the secret?  Always keep the racks on the top of the oven?  I ask only because I've got half a turkey in the fridge to cook today and I would rather it not be black on the bottom and raw in the middle!!

I'm off to take gymkhana pictures ........ I'm SURE they will be there today!!

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Late Night Visitors

I'm still getting used to the desert.  There are actually seasons here, unlike where I stay when in California.  It's cold (and apparently snowy) in the winter, causing most everything to hibernate.  At 36 degrees this morning, I completely understand.  Being underground is like having an electric blanket.

I can't tell you how happy I am to have scorpions and spiders hiding away and NOT visiting me.  That one in the tub when I arrived was just a fluke.  He died by the time I got up the nerve to get him out.  Starvation I assume.  Not sorry!!

I was lamenting the lack of critters last night ... no bunnies, no birds, not even the wail of a coyote.  I have literally seen nothing since arriving.  Wasn't I surprised at the late night visitor who came calling.
Not the human variety, and NOT the refrigerator guy who has now left me standing TWICE!!!  We'll talk about that later.  

It was the four legged kind looking to sneak a nighttime snack.  I heard him yi-yi-yi over the television.  I hit mute.  He called out again, louder.   Hey puppies ..... we have a visitor!!  I walked to the sliding glass door and opened it to hear better.  
Hey Mister Coyote ... if you're looking for a meal, you should probably be a little more stealthy!!  I closed the door and sat down.  The wailing got louder.  Back to the door I was totally surprised to find him screaming at the very corner of my little two foot tall concrete block fence!  YIKES!!!  He was BIG and LOUD!!!

That's when it happened!  Cooper didn't like him getting so close and made a beeline for the door, barking his crazy "someone's out there" bark.  He and the coyote talked back and forth, with me trying to hush Cooper by flailing at him with my foot.  Then the coyote did what coyote's do.  He yipped quickly once or twice ... then again.  Then it was back to full blown howling.  Yip yip again.

Here's what I learned many moons ago on the ranch.  That's how coyotes get dogs to follow them, taking them way off so the waiting pack can attack.  It usually happened when we were on horseback in the far reaches of the property.  The coyotes yipped and the dogs ran after them.  We would have to race after the coyotes on horseback, chasing THEM off in order to save the dogs.  

Here's the good word for the day.  Never EVER leave your pets outside alone for any reason.  A coyote can lure them off in a flash.  If you tie your baby up, you just provided lunch for a hungry critter.  Think they don't come out during the day?  Yes they do.  Think they don't go around a crowded town or group of RV's during the day?  Yes they do.  Keep your babies safe my friends.  Keep them inside unless you are right there.

Cooper did get in the last word as the coyote wandered off looking for another meal.  I warily stepped outside on the patio.  That's when I almost got hit in the face.  Having just put my hummingbird feeder out a few hours earlier, I figured I could leave it all night.  WRONG!!  

A huge bat did a fly-by around me and straight to the feeder, where he hung in mid air sipping the sweet nectar, the same way hummers do.  I grabbed my camera, but even with it's night vision, the bats were too fast to get any images.  I brought it in for the night.
In other news, that darn refrigerator/cupboard-cutting guy never showed up, nor did he call me this time.  That's two days I've sat here waiting.  I'm not a happy camper.  Here's my question of the day.  I can cut that out myself if I have the right tools.  So what should I use?  A skill saw?  Maybe a router?  Or just a jigsaw?  

There's no way to raise the cabinets since one end goes all the way to the floor.  It's not going to be easy hanging upside down on a ladder to get it done, but I'm determined.  That half inch HAS to go!!   

Wait ..... did you hear it?   That's the chirping of a quail in the bushes!!!!!

Friday, January 25, 2019

It's HERE!!!!!

Thank goodness for electric blankets.  If you're going to spend a freezing winter in the desert, you might as well enjoy the benefits of electricity.  It arrived just in time for the nighttime temperatures to rise to 40 degrees.  Honestly, I don't let my house get quite that cold, but there's nothing worse than trying to sleep when you are an icicle.

I was SO happy to hear the ding of my motion alarm.  Unlike the melamine plates, THIS baby would be worth stealing.  I grabbed it off the porch immediately with a big smile on my face.  Tonight I shall be WARM!!!
I was expecting the nice thick yummy soft blanket I had at home.  As I unboxed it, the blanket was soft, but thinner than a single piece of batting in one of my quilts.  What's up with that??  I could feel every single wire inside.  Like everything else, it costs the same, but there's half the product inside.
I rolled it out on to the bed and plugged it in.  Please PLEASE work!  In a couple of seconds, I felt the lovely warm of a tepid cup of tea.  I sure hope it warms up more than this.  There's nothing like slipping into a nice HOT set of sheets, whereupon I turn the control down to "barely on".  Any more than that and it all ends up on the floor in the middle of the night because I got too hot.
I was a little concerned with the reviews of this blanket.  It said something about the nap of the fabric making it move throughout the night, finally landing it on the floor.  That didn't happen with me.  Maybe those guys have satin sheets, right???

After an hour at the highest setting, I jumped into bed with the puppies.  OH YEAH ..... WARM!!!  Not near as warm as the blanket on my other bed, but warm nonetheless.  My newest quilt covered it up nicely and kept me comfy cozy all night long.  

Even the puppies appreciated it.  Cooper never moved.  Unfortunately Jessie got overheated a couple of times.  She shall be relegated to the floor if she doesn't lay still.
It was so nice and warm I slept in 30 minutes.  That never happens.  YAY for electric blankets!!  

By the way, just because you have a quilt, doesn't mean it is warm.  I have discovered, even with wool batting, these things are just as thin as a skinny blanket.  You need at least two on a bed (if you can stand the weight), or one with a nice thick blanket, to make the equivalent of a down comforter.  Quilt does not equal warm.  Who knew???

I'm still working on the fridge.  I stopped in at a locally owned appliance store to see what they had. I think I can get the same price as Lowe's, although their selection is not near as large.  The good news is they have a guy who can cut out the cabinet.  

He was supposed to stop by last night, but was still working on two projects at 6:15 when he called.  At least he called.  We scheduled again for today.  In the meantime, I got rather impatient.  I grabbed a screwdriver and ripped out the bottom of the cabinet.  

I don't see a problem with cutting off half an inch in the front.  I doubt I will even have to stain the edge because it won't be seen.  The same guy does the installation, so hopefully I will soon have a beautiful new refrigerator.
A warming trend is coming through with daytime temps in the very low 70's, nights only 41.  Maybe I can get out for some photography without icicles hanging off my chin.

Thursday, January 24, 2019


Not like the movie Taken where you are snatched away by some bad guys, but TAKEN, as in divested of your money, cheated, robbed, etc. etc.  Well I found the perfect store for you to experience that feeling.

Every year I get a gift certificate for $75.  I'm not looking a gift horse in the mouth.  It's MUCH better than the one for the restaurant in town that has turned into a high priced place to get half as much mediocre food as you used to get.

This one is for Williams Sonoma, the kitchen store of my dreams, if you are Bill Gates that is.  I made the 30 mile trek, 8 miles of it on surface streets with terrible traffic and 20 mph folks, in 50 minutes.  In Tucson's defense, there was an accident where a 20 mph folk must have been going 50 when he hit that tree in the median.  The tree was coming out in the middle of where the engine should have been.

I had in mind an air fryer.  Friend Patsy has one and says it works great.  The Instant Pot caught my eye first however, with a price tag of $129.95.  I got mine, exactly the same, on Amazon Prime for $69.  Just WOW!!!  I suppose if it doesn't sell, they can sell it for half price and STILL make a big profit.
I skipped the air fryer at $239.99.  I'm not kidding, this is a HIGH priced store.  What in the world can I find for $75??  I headed to the sale section in the back.  Good grief, the silicon spoons and spatulas are $15 each.  I can buy 5 spoons I suppose.  Do you feel taken?  Like you've been assaulted in a dark parking lot??

You're not going to believe this!  I ended up with four ... count them, FOUR ... melamine plates.   Not even REAL plates but PLASTIC!!!!!  I must say they are rather pretty.  Holy cow, they were $12.75 EACH!!!  My thinking was I'll use two at home and two in the rig for those potluck dinners we always have.

I still needed something to fulfill the gift certificate.  I hugged the plates as I walked around the store three times.  I was hoping no one mugged me as I passed the door holding such expensive dinnerware.  With absolutely nothing else in sight but triplicates of kitchen gizmos I already have, I settled on FOUR very nice cloth dishtowels.  They were cheap at $24.95.  I could feel my heart beating in my throat.  
In the end, I actually owed $6.43, paying about $1 for each plate, like I could have done in the Dollar Tree Store.  I figure next year I'll add to the plate collection.  I may even get enough to invite someone to dinner.

As I walked out the door, I glanced both directions to make sure no one would have the opportunity to steal my expensive purchase.  I really could have used a body guard, but instead, I ran as fast as possible to the car, got in and locked the doors.  WHEW!!  Made it with my Royal Copenhagen dishes, valued at $32,500.  Least that's what it felt like!!

To add insult to injury, I stopped on the way home for groceries.  Jonathan LOVES Ritz crackers.  I quickly grabbed the box and headed out the door.  Well of course I paid for them first.  Just to be sure they were good, I ate one before giving Jon his treat.  

Wait .. something's different.  I looked at the box.  WHOLE WHEAT!!  Oh good grief, these are NOT the right ones.  Taken AGAIN!!  Since when does Ritz make whole wheat crackers?  Lucky for me, he ate it with relish!!
Feeling rather depressed I wasn't going to have air fried fish for dinner, I spent the rest of the night sewing and cuddling with the puppies, keeping a wary eye on the cabinet holding my purchase of the day.

Did I get a package yesterday?  YES I DID!!!  Pictures to come.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

My First Quilting Disaster

Not that there haven't been more quilting disasters, but at least I didn't want to throw them away.  I always figured SOMEONE would want it, even if it was my puppies.

There has however, come a time when my quilting has reached the level of my cooking.  I've gone far too long without burying something made of fabric.  Don't despair because that day has arrived.

Take a look at this latest creation.  It is a little crooked here and there because it's not sewn together yet.  These pieces are just plastered on the batting to check placement before stitching them into a quilt.  I'm happy to say that's NOT going to happen.

Believe it or not, I followed the pattern completely, even as to the colors.  I can only say it's UGLY.  After all the trouble I went through to get the owls, I was devastated to see THIS.  I kept the owls and stashed everything else in the bottom of the scrap box.

Talk about depressing .... it took me hours and hours to sew all those tiny triangles together!!  I needed another plan.
Luckily the ladies at the only quilt shop in my area were very kind.  They said it was HORRIBLE and what was my idea to fix it.  Hey, that's why I came to YOU!!  This was actually my idea in the end, but I had no idea how to figure out the yardage.

Once I picked the colors, the lady who said it was horrible must have felt bad.  She grabbed a piece of graph paper and penciled it out completely for me, along with exact cutting instructions, how much to cut and how wide.  Here's the final result.  It's quite a bit smaller than the original, but looks MUCH better.  Maybe a lap quilt, maybe a wall hanging.  At least I saved the owls from extinction.    
Not to be outdone, this quilt didn't fare much better.  These modern quilts and fabrics are just not my cup of tea.  I'm pretty sure this will be donated to someone or something!!
I've actually finished three quilt tops and am starting on the fourth.  With the weather so cold and the wind rising, I haven't ventured outside much at all.  Now THIS I like.  It's much more traditional.  
I'm feeling rather bad for the Canadians who come here to escape the cold.  It's 32 degrees this morning.  Even the puppies didn't want to go out.  Thank goodness my electric blanket will be delivered this afternoon.  No more cold nights for me!!

I did make one foray yesterday to get completely taken by high prices.  I'll explain more tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

My House Needs To Go On A Diet

Good morning Arizona!!  What the heck happened to your warm, sunny, short-wearing days?  It's 33 degrees with an expected 32 for tonight.  I think it's been getting up into the 60's during the day.  That is definitely NOT shorts weather for me.

So I put on my ski parka, my boots and my gloves and headed out to Lowes for appliances.  I pretty much knew what I wanted, but couldn't find a single person to help.  The line at the order register was long and I thought to come another day.

Finally, Eric arrived.  I had my dimensions in hand when the first major problem reared it's ugly head.  Almost ever single refrigerator of decent size is 69 inches tall he said.  MY space is only 68-1/2.  Are you kidding me?

I checked the specs on all of the top brands, trying to find SOMETHING that would fit and still be large enough for normal use.  It wasn't going to happen.  

I went home and measured three more times, just to be sure.  I double checked the website and sure enough, they are all 68.8.  So how many actual tiny fractions of an inch over 68.5 is that?  Can I smash it into the space??

Of course not.  What it means is that I have to figure out a way to put my house on a diet and take half an inch off the bottom of the overhead cabinets.  Seriously???  If there was a lip on the bottom edge, it wouldn't be so much of a problem.  There is not.  Big sigh!!!

I do remember my up-the-hill neighbor saying he had to cut his cabinets down when they got their fridge last year.  I'm going to ask him for advice.  In the meantime, I'm stuck with my broken drawer, noisy, talks-to-me-constantly fridge instead of this beauty.
In other news, I discovered when I arrived that the smoke detector was disconnected.  Mr. Chance said it was beeping upon his house check and put in a new battery.  Nope ... the new battery didn't stop the beeping.  I went to Ace Hardware for a new one.  The nice man said he was amazed the old one worked THAT long ... 16 years to be exact, said the date on the back.  

I'm not showing you the entire ladder because it's way up high in the sky.  I was almost on the top step.  It looked exactly the same as the old one, but of course it did not fit the ring.  I had to remove the entire thing, install the new mount, then twist it in place.  YAY!!  No beeping!!!  I really need a taller ladder.
I'm sorry to say I haven't seen any critters around lately, not that I wanted to see any more scorpions.  Mom Bobcat, the deer and even the quail are all hiding from the cold, just like me.  This morning I gave up and turned the heat up a tad.

As a quilter, I have TWO nice wool batting quilts on the bed and it's still not enough.  I can't wait for the electric blanket to arrive tomorrow!!!  In the meantime, I've finished three quilt tops.  I can hear my quilting lady now ..... ka-ching!!!!

Monday, January 21, 2019

The Last Sunset

Backing up a tad, I'm still in Indio with this image.  If you are ever parked at the fairgrounds, keep a weather eye out for the guys flying overhead. Sometimes they land out in the parking lots, but mostly it's the big lot next door behind a restaurant.

Always beautiful and I just realized, the color of Arizona sunsets.
The first two days in Q it was overcast and cold all day long.  It was nice the sun decided to put on a show on the last night I was there.
Skipping down the road to Vail, it's STILL cold, although yesterday it did finally climb up to 70 degrees.  I was actually able to take my coat off during the day, but that didn't help the night.  I was SURE I had an electric blanket here, but alas, it has escaped.  

I went on the look yesterday.  It's funny how there are no electric blankets for sale in the desert.  I had to order one on-line.  Two more cold nights before I'll be sleeping peacefully.  Yes I could turn the heat up, but I'm too cheap!!
I figured three big loads from the rig and I would be set.  With all that put away, mostly in the fridge, I sat down to rest, until I got hungry.  I made another trip to the rig for the leftover sausages.  RATS!! I forgot the butter for my toast.  Another trip, but not before I was SURE I had it all.

When dinnertime rolled around I discovered all the spices I needed were in the rig, along with some bowls and Cooper/Jessie bones.  Another trip.  

RATS again!  I forgot the sheets that need to be washed.  About six trips later, I was SURE I was done .... finally!!!
That would be incorrect because I planned a trip to the quilt shop to replace one piece of fabric.  The box with the fabric to match was still in the rig.  I'm going to wear out the key fob unlocking the door.

In between all those trips, I watched one of the best football games EVER.  The Chiefs played the Patriots for the Championship and the chance to go to the Super Bowl.  It was amazing to see how fast the Patriots could get down field and score ... something like 39 seconds ... and finally win in overtime.  I think there were seven touchdowns in the last quarter including overtime.  

I did make a trip downtown to check out appliances, only to find out I have a big problem.  I'll explain it all tomorrow because right now I have to go out to the rig AGAIN and get the dog food and dirty tablecloths from Indio so they can be washed.  At least I'm getting lots of exercise!!

Sunday, January 20, 2019

The Fleas Must Be Asleep

I suppose this isn't exactly a flea market, although many booths are reminiscent of roadside yard sales.  It's the big Sell-a-Rama in Quartzsite.  Be there or be square!!  Almost ever single spot was set up with a tent or easy-up of some kind, but no one was home.  I heard snoring coming from one.
It's actually one day short of the grand opening, but I hoped to miss the crowds.  Parking in the wash wasn't an option with the last huge rainstorm so I drove the line twice before finding someone backing out.  At least the dinosaur was awake.
Store after store was closed as I tippy toed around the mud puddles.  For my Golden Spike readers, the Too Crazy Ladies are alive and well.  We haven't seen them around in awhile and were wondering if they were okay.  
I have two favorite booths.  The first was so crowded I couldn't even get in to see the merchandise.  Turquoise jewelry must be the "in" thing now.  The second one is the kitchen store.  Really I've no idea what the name is since hardly anyone puts up a sign.  
I got two stainless mixing bowls ... could be dog bowls, or maybe a drip pan for my smoker ... for only $2.50 each, followed by silicone mixing spoons for $2.00 each.  These run $5 where I come from, if you can even FIND them.  We used them almost exclusively at the cooking school.
There is also a CBD oil booth.  Apparently that is the newest thing.  As I walked close to that one, the smell of incense almost knocked me over.  Me thinks someone is partaking in the back with the hopes incense will cover up the smell.  It doesn't.  I can smell the green stuff a mile away.  Is that legal in Arizona now??  If you're interested in the oil as a pain remedy, read Nick Russell's blog about his experience.

Here's the newest set up.  He also had the neatest, cleanest tent in the lot.  AND he was open for business, unlike those smoking and snoring.
That was it ... my big foray into the world of flea marketing.  I didn't take a picture of the fifty cow skulls.  That's rather offensive to me, even though I might like to have one hanging on the wall.  They come from slaughter houses, with many having fake horns attached.  

I stopped at the Cinnamon Roll trailer, oooooh cinnamon rolls, on my way out.  They were closed.  That's probably not a bad thing, since I found they are $6 each.  Yikes!!  I can make a dozen for that price.

I'm sad I missed the Big Tent.  I've already decided I'm making reservations for a week next year.  It will be pricey at the RV park, but that's the cost of having a parrot in the family.

At last I'm in my Arizona home and am happy to report there is NO snow.  It's cold as all get out, but no snow!!  My kitchen remodel is daunting and I need some advice.  Do I replace the countertops first and then the appliances or vice versa.  Anyone had experience in this sort of thing??

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Truck Butts

Okay, you KNEW it was going to happen!!!  I had completely forgotten about these darn critters!  What a GREAT welcome home!  Rotten little ..........  OH how I hate them!!  Too bad for him, he fell into my bathtub and can't get out!  Ha!!!!  There's one less scorpion in the world.
Back to Quartzsite, I left around 9:00 after calling world travelers Jan and Bill Mains.  Every time I head south, she says "you just passed by us".  THIS time I was determined to have a meet and greet.

Heading East on I-10, all I saw was truck butts.  Traffic was right up my alley ... very light with only a few trucks on the road.  The other direction was wall to wall vehicles.
Of course they passed me like I was standing still as I chugged along at 60 mph.  
Truck butt after truck butt.  If there had been anything else to photograph, I would have.  
If you've ever read Jan's Blog, you know how they have been traveling around the world on cruises and boat tours.  They live not far from me, so I was determined to meet them in person.  It finally happened yesterday.  They even came in my rig to see the zoo I carry with me, complete with Jonathan shrieking and puppies barking.

Funny how it feels like I know them so well before I even met them.  We had lots of laughs and I'm sure could have talked for hours, but I needed to get on down the road before dark.  I'm hoping to get back to see them again soon.
I arrived home just in the nick of time to unload the kids, set up Jonathan's heat lamp and rush over to the Chance residence.  As you probably have guessed, I NEVER turn down an invitation to dinner!!  Especially when it's one of Patty's fabulous casseroles.

Back at the ranch, I've got lots of unpacking to do.  Then it's on to things like replacing the kitchen counters, getting the carpets stretched and retacked, and figuring out how to thwart those little rascal javelinas from destroying my water station.  

I'll play catchup on Quartzsite tomorrow, along with a few images I've missed in the last few weeks.