Thursday, February 28, 2019

My View From Below

Meet my floor!!  In spite of some nice looking carpet, it's hard as a rock.  Maybe harder.  I have become very close to my carpet in the last two days while my butt became increasingly numb.  It doesn't matter how many pillows or dog blankets I sat on, I was a wiggle butt trying to get just a tad bit more comfortable.
Here's the problem.  The KID follows me everywhere.  Even if he's asleep on the couch and I can sneak to the kitchen without waking him, as soon as I turn around, there he is.  He just doesn't let me get three feet from him.  That phenomenon occurs even when he's hurting, and maybe more so, which doesn't bode well for healing.  

This was my view from below for most of the day.  If I stay sat or laying down, so does he, making his back problem disappear all the faster, helped along with some cortisone and muscle relaxants.  Those with bad backs can probably relate.
Yup ... he's in there, and so am I.  In spite of turning the heat up, it was COLD on the floor.  By the end of the day, I had FOUR quilts piled up.  The good news is it was worth all the aches and pains.  This morning he's walking like normal again.  
Every time I took the puppies outside, I would grab three more bricks and put them in place.  It's looking good, right?  Uh no.  One of those times I finally grabbed a roll of tie-up-the-turkey string and strung it between two stakes.  It looks nice and straight, but it's WAY off.  Well that was deflating.  Here I thought I was doing so good.

I moved and entire line over a bit and was excited to see how nice it looked.  At least until I got back up on the patio and saw how it had a three foot bump in the middle.  It's not the least bit level.  Well rats!!!!
Cooper helped ... this was BEFORE he got hurt.  The ball is beneath his left front foot.  That's the game.  If I ignore him, he will roll it towards me with his nose, then bark until I roll it back.  Little does he know there will be no ball games around here for at least a week.
I think Cooper is well enough I can sneak out today for the rest of the blocks I need.  At least I'll only have to unload 26 ... a hunk and a half.  

In more good news, the weather has finally shifted to warm.  It's supposed to be 71 today.  Perfect brick setting weather.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

I'm BACK On The Floor!!

Well that was one terrible night!!  I was up about every hour until finally at 3:00 I called Uncle and just stayed up.  My brain is pretty much in slow motion.  Here's what my day was like.

With the snow gone and temperatures above 35, I bundled up and headed off to Lowe's for some big concrete retaining wall blocks.  The weather just floors me!  Snowing and 26 degrees, followed by 75 two days later.  Anyway, off to Lowe's.

Did I mention the heater in my Jeep has decided not to work?  Apparently something isn't switching over from cold to hot.  It's a good thing the heated seats are still working!

Mr. Chance offered me the use of his truck to haul these bad boys, but I measured twice and only needed 56.  My seats fold down and it's a Jeep, right?  How much can 56 bricks weigh?  Turns out, a LOT!!

I asked for help and the nice gentlemen loaded me up.  How much do you think these weigh, I asked?  I hefted one and guessed 10 pounds.  Hmmmm I better rethink my purchase.  How about 30.  That's a nice round number.  I was guessing that would be 300 pounds, the same as two nice hunks sitting in my back seat.
I watched the wheel wells as they loaded up the back.  All looked good until I got in to drive and couldn't see the road.  Yikes!!  I pulled over behind the building so they wouldn't see me reshuffle their work and spread everything out like you see here.  Much better!  I took the slow road home.

There was that one bump that sent the bricks and I about 3 inches in the air, but I held on.  Sometimes Arizona overpasses have very rough spots.  The good news is I made it home, only to sink into the wet soil as I backed up to the gate.  No problem ... I've got 4WD!!

I worked on my project for awhile (I'll show you pictures tomorrow) until the temperature reached 75 degrees.  Believe it or not, I actually put on a pair of shorts.  That's when it happened.  Everything was going fine as I threw Cooper's ball over and over again.  I know better ... and I'm mad as a wet hen at myself for not stopping sooner!!

Five minutes later in the house, he couldn't move.  Somehow he hurt his back again.  I made a mad dash for the rig and his meds from the last disastrous event.  It took a couple of tries to get the pills down, then we laid on the floor while they took effect.  Unfortunately for me, that cancelled my plans to go to dinner with Patty and Dan.
Thank goodness for good people ... I called my Vet in California at 4:30, who in the middle of an operation, affirmed my choice of medicine.  Just keep him quiet he said.  That's code for lay on the floor with him all night long and that's exactly what I did.  Oh my aching hips!!!

In spite of two quilts and four dog blankets, the floor is hard.  It's just impossible to get comfortable.  Yes, I am going to Walmart to buy one of those blow up mattresses.  I have a feeling it will come in handy this week while I'm back on the floor!!

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Poof ... It's All Gone

The last vestiges of that beautiful white snow disappeared yesterday.  It was totally anticlimactic.  I expected symbols and drums.  Instead, it all went away very quietly.  The roads are now clear and sadly, 4WD is not necessary.  It sure was fun while it lasted.
That doesn't mean it got warm however.  With 15 mph winds blowing around some icy air, it stayed cold most of the day.  I'm looking forward to no-jacket days.  This morning's 35 degrees hasn't helped.

It was a fun morning with the girls as Shirley helped me figure out how to cut out two quilts.  Here's my tip of the day.  When you buy material, ALWAYS write down which one you are making and what SIZE, so you don't spend hours trying to figure out if you have enough to finish the project.

I also learned how to fix a quilt your little puppy has chewed on.  Apparently Pat's baby likes the taste of  binding, because he ate holes in about six places.  What's the fix you ask?  Cut off an inch all the way around and rebind it.  Then put it on the top shelf where puppy cannot reach!!

I've got two meals left from Hello Fresh to cook up for dinner.  Check this out!!  This is their pork cutlet apple salad with greens dinner.
And this is MINE!!  Not bad!!!  Unfortunately, there was twice the food I should have eaten, so I was quickly miserable.  I didn't share the bread.  That stuff soaked in garlic butter was a big hit.  
Unfortunately, when I went to place the next weeks order, even though their prices said $5.99 per serving, times 6 meals (3 dinners for two people) should have been around $40.  I finally spotted the total at the bottom of $73.  Something didn't quite compute.  

I gathered up my adding machine and made a trip to the store to discover I can buy the food myself, the equivalent of the same 6 meals, for $58 (less if anything is on sale).  I really did like having things delivered to the door, so I may just accept their half off offer for another week or so.  The food really was delicious!!  I guess I'm just becoming lazy in my old age.

In the meantime, Jonathan is unhappy that he's not getting his usual piece of banana bread for breakfast.  It's hard keeping all these critters happy!!  So I whipped some up Hawaiian style with pineapple.  Oh yes, I get a slice every now and then too!!
Dinner was wonderful split pea soup made by Chef Patty at her house while I cruised through her computer looking for a letter writing program.  All computers have something akin to Microsoft Word.  It just took me awhile to dig through all the menus before finding it buried under accessories.  In return, I printed out some paperwork for me.  In spite of the heater in the rig, that cold spell froze up my ink cartridges, which is why they tell you to keep your printer in a warm place.  

What about the printer Lynn and Dave gave me?  I need to find a USB cable to make a direct attachment to my computer.  No biggie .. Walmart will have one and I'll be in like Flynn.

In the meantime, I'm off to Lowe's for big bricks to build a mow strip at the end of my lawn.  Not that it's going to be mowed for a long time ... the grass is nicely dead from the cold weather and snow.  At least I'll get some exercise and maybe warm up a little.

Monday, February 25, 2019

Hanging In There

It was a beautiful morning yesterday as the sun came over the mountain making for pink tinged skies.  Super cold nighttime temperatures kept it hanging in there for another day.  I think it got down to 27 before it started to warm up.
The mountains around are just gorgeous with their dusting of snow.  By the end of the day, this would all be a very nice memory.
I never thought I would EVER see this.  My rig is terribly allergic when it comes to snow.
Help ..... I'm MELTING!!!  The sun came out and completely obliterated the white landscape.
My back yard hung in there though, being enveloped in shadows most of the day.  There's even MORE yellow snow NOW!  By the end of the day there was still five inches of icy cold covering the entire yard.  I'm pretty sure that's going to make for very dead grass.
In the meantime, here's that Korean dish Bibimbap I was telling you about.  You cook ground beef until very brown and crispy, adding in cooked vegetables at the end.  This is hot stuff.  The recipe called for almost two tablespoons of sriracha sauce.  Oh mamma ... that would have burned my mouth something terrible.  I went with a teaspoon.
My first problem here was the lack of a potato peeler to make those nice curly strips of carrot.  Left only with a paring knife, I did my best not to fillet my finger.  It completely lost something in the translation.
I didn't have the wide flat bowl to make it pretty, and pickled onions are not on my edible list.  Somewhere under all that meat is zucchini and mushrooms, along with a sesame oil, soy sauce and sugar concoction.  Surprisingly, it was quite edible.  Enough for FOUR meals for me.
I'm not sure this will be a repeat customer, but it was rather tasty, in spite of it's looks.

I was a big bump on a log yesterday, having gotten caught up in Johnny Depp's version of Tonto in the Lone Ranger.  To make matters even worse, Greystoke Tarzan Returns came on next.  That's a movie I had not seen before and was very intrigued with the special effects.  Okay, I admit he DID run around almost the entire movie without a shirt.  I just might have to buy that CD.

Today is quilting with girlfriends, so I better get my act together.  

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Oooohhhh That Powdery White Stuff

Well THAT was fun!!  Skiers should be really excited because this was some very nice dry snow, perfect for screaming down the mountain.  Someone said I should make a snowman.  That's all good and fine if it's not YOU with freezing hands.

This took all of 45 seconds to create before my fingers froze.  He's very small because I didn't want to mess up my entire beautiful snow-covered yard.
It was all good until Cooper spotted him out the window.  He's pretty smart this kid of mine ... he knew something was different, so he barked up a storm.  Who's there????  I opened the door and he went running out, growling the likes of which I've never heard before.  GET HIM!!!  He came to a sliding stop at the icy patio edge, backpedaling as fast as he could.  Deciding there was no threat, he finally just walked away.

We went through that whole scenario again when Miss Jessie discovered something weird in the yard.  She slid OFF the patio and went nose to nose with the snow.  I didn't have to worry about yellow snow after that because it was only deposited on the snowman!!!!!
Lucky for her, the palm fronds covered my little dove's nest perfectly, keeping her dry as could be.
In the end I had 6 to 12 inches piled up around the yard.  Most desert plants aren't made to hold this kind of weight, making them all droop down to the ground.  I could even see the train tracks which are normally not visible.
Although it slowed the train traffic down quite a bit, I think probably six went through in spite of the driving snow.  I can't say as much for the Post Office.  Two packages should have been delivered yesterday, but neither arrived.  So much for their motto.
When it came time to head to the store, I couldn't wait to get out and play.  I put my Jeep in 4WD and headed out the driveway.  Even at that, I had trouble getting turned around.  At the dead-end turnaround, I made a couple of passes, you know, just trying to get enough momentum to get up the steep hill to the road above.  I was smiling all the way.  What's that song?  Slippin' and Slidin'??
I made the rounds of all the big parking lots, but someone had already beat me to it.  It would have been a kick going down the Chance driveway, but it looked so pretty, I decided not to mess it up.
The trees and bushes were gorgeous, but alas, all the snow has now melted, except for my back yard. It seems it's in shade most of the day, and in spite of yesterday's sun, it's still covered with about 5 inches of snow.  There will be no more snow eating I'm sorry to say.
At 30 degrees, it's still COLD.  If we're lucky, it will get all the way up to 60 by 3:00.  OH BOY!!  Downright balmy!!!  Today would probably be a good day to house clean since all the good road snow has melted.  It's also time to get my gourd carving table set up.

Saturday, February 23, 2019

I Ate The Snow

Let me tell you about the lovely warm winter I spent in Tucson Arizona, where the sun always shines and the average February temperature is 70 degrees.  It snowed .... and I ATE the snow.  Needless to say, there was no rodeo.  It started with big huge flakes about 7:00 am and continued for a full eight hours.
I kept thinking it was going to stop, and really the temperature was only around 37 degrees.  Nonetheless, there were quarter sized flakes coming down the entire day.
You can imagine how quiet it was.  I don't fare well in quiet, I seem to need noise of some kind.  The television works great for that.  Too bad I had no signal.  Finally, in desperation, I downloaded Pandora to my phone and left it plugged in.  I bopped out to Keith Urban all morning long.
As the snow got thicker, the tree branches got lower to the ground.  Eventually these oleanders were below the height of the fence.
All that snow didn't seem to stop the trains, although there were just a couple that went through very slowly.
Nor did it stop my hummers.  Two of them fought over the prime feeding spot while one little finch ate his fill.  At one point, it was snowing so much, three of them took refuge underneath the oleander bush, hanging out practically on the ground.
The kids were not impressed.  Cooper does EVERYTHING by smell and it was completely covered up.  This is as far as he got into the white stuff.  Neither one were brave enough to venture out into it. Yes, I was VERY careful not to eat yellow snow.  It was funny though ... after a few hours I could smell someone's oil burning stove and could taste it in the snow.  Possibly it was the trains stopped down the track.  Who knows. 
This was about mid day when I was SURE it would stop.  It didn't.  It kept on until branches were either snapping off or flinging snow into the air when the heavy wet snow finally melted off.  At 37 degrees, it was melting underneath just as fast as it was falling on top.
The best news is the television finally came back on and I was able to finish this quilt.  
I've got lots more pictures, but I'll post them tomorrow.  No use going into snow overload.  It was a chilly 30 (feels like 21) degrees last night, so about half the snow is still hanging in there.  It won't last long since sunny skies are expected all day.  

I'm pretty sure there are no refunds on the rodeo.  On the bright side, if it warms up enough, I can get back to carving gourds.

Friday, February 22, 2019

Yeeeee Hawwwwwww ..... RODEO

Or maybe not.  There was a nice gully washer last night that I thought would never end so I could get some sleep.  By 4:30 it slowed down, but so far hasn't stopped even for a second.  That doesn't bode well for the rodeo.  There's 80-100 percent chance of rain from now until 3:00 this afternoon.

UPDATE:  There will be NO rodeo ..... There's twice this much already and it's going to keep it up all day!!  SNOW DAY!!!!!

The snow on the mountains around us has almost melted away, but I'm sure there is more in our immediate future.  The high today is 38 degrees.  Whoopee!!
So I thought I would show you a couple of images from last year's rodeo when it was toasty warm in Tucson.  You know, like it SHOULD be in the desert.  Just like in your car's mirror, things appear closer than they are.  When this bull headed my direction with a quick turn, I jumped back because looking through my camera lens, I thought he was coming through the fence!!  The men laughed.  How embarrassing for a cowgirl!!
This guy got thrown off, but his hand is stuck in the rigging.  It's called a suicide warp, for good reason.  One extra wrap of that pine tar coated leather and it sticks like glue.  It may eventually come loose, when your arm is broken, unless the clowns can get close enough to grab the end and pull.  I can't tell you how many lives those clowns have saved.
If you're going to go flying off, backwards is a good place to go ..... away from the hooking horns.  In the old days of ranching, Dad always bought muley bulls, ones that were dehorned.  Not only was it safer for the bulls who constantly fought over the gals, but it was MUCH safer for us kids who had to gather them on horseback.  

Sometimes they became a little cranky, as bulls will, and would try to throw their heads underneath your horse, punching them in the stomach.  Even at 8 years old, you better be able to handle your horse well enough to keep away from the business end of a bull.  Eventually, if you yelled loud enough, they would move along.  I screamed a LOT!!
And so I'm not sure there is going to BE a rodeo today.  It's not the least bit safe to be running horses and cattle around a very wet slick arena.  The top may look good, but underneath that eight inches of fluffy sand is hardpack dirt the likes of a skating rink.  Been there, done that.  I would never risk my horse or my money-making bucking stock, but you never know ... the show just might go on.

I'm feeling pretty bad for my dove momma who has finished building her lovely loosely woven bird nest.  Maybe that's so the water will run right through.  Not only has she been freezing, but now she's a little damp around the edges.
I'll let you know what happens.  As of now, I'll probably be sewing all day and watching a marathon of murder stories.  What better way to spend a rainy day.  Maybe I'll even make SOUP!!

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Just Passing Time

Just so you know I wasn't kidding, here's tomorrow's forecast, just in time for the rodeo.  The weather guessers aren't near as accurate as my crystal ball, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed.  Just in case however, I rounded up my cowboy hat, ski parka and warmest gloves.
In the meantime, I began work on my next quilt project.  This looks rather black and white, but really, it's tan, gray and white.  I thought surely there must be an easier way to cut out all those 624 pieces, but in the end, that's just what I had to do ... cut out 624 pieces.  I'm happy to report sewing them together is MUCH easier.
I kept looking out the window all day for critters, but it's just too cold for them to be roaming around.  Instead, I cooked up THIS critter for lunch.  I love pork chops, but I like them tender.  It's probably been fifteen years since I had a chop, mostly because I've never had them turn out cuttable.  They have bred all the fat OUT of meat nowadays, which is what makes it fall apart tender when cooked.
Pan fry it the recipe said, so I did, on LOW heat.  Truly, I think they used a different piece of meat altogether on the recipe card, because it didn't even LOOK like a pork chop.  At any rate, as you can probably tell, I did not roast the veggies, I nuked them.  

I LOVE couscous and the chicken stock, garlic and onions made it wonderful.  I whipped up the balsamic cherry sauce in a flash and drizzled it over the chop.  It all tasted wonderful, once I finally got that hard as a rock piece of meat cut up with my sharpest steak knife.  It quickly reminded me why I don't eat pork chops any more.  
This time I stepped out of my comfort zone and ordered bibimbap.  It's some kind of Korean food. 
That should be fun, right?  Interestingly enough, I just discovered I have the recipes for all the other dinners I don't order, so I can cook those too if I wish.  Click click ... I'm saving those to my phone.

In the meantime, there's nothing like rice krispie treats to make my sweet tooth happy, as well as a quick treat at the rodeo.  
So much the better if you melt chocolate over the top.
My little old girl is doing much better, thanks to Dr. Amy.  Unfortunately for me, she's also now on the chicken/turkey and rice diet.  It's bad enough I have to cook for myself, but now I'm cooking for both my kids too??
They say it's going to warm up next week (they said that last week) so I'm heading off to Harbor Freight today for some extra carving goodies I need ... like a face mask.  If it ever gets warm, I'll be out and about during the day and carving at night.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Thousand Trails

Okay folks .... it's presently 29 degrees, soon to be 26 before 7:00 am.  What is up with this weather???  I don't mind the rain at all because at least it stays around 40-something.  Friday for the rodeo should be MUCH better.  My forecast says 20 degrees with rain/snow.  I think they're just fooling.  Do YOU think they're just fooling?????

Here's another big storm that went through yesterday leaving a nice powdered sugar dusting on the mountains which melted immediately when the sun came out.  I think it got all the way up to 40 during the day.  That sure puts the kibosh on my activities.  There are thousands of trails around here to hike and I haven't been on a single one.
There was another super moon for the last couple of nights, but alas, with all the clouds I couldn't get a good image.  
Even with my biggest lens, there were too many clouds obscuring the moon.  My shivering from the cold didn't help either.
Hoping for a view of SOMETHING, I spotted this guy at least a mile away cruising on the air currents.  I've no idea what he was doing up so high ... I mean he was REALLY up there where you never see birds.
I tried to bring him into focus, but it wasn't to be.  I've really no idea what he is.  I thought turkey buzzard, but he looks WAY too big for that.  He literally never did flap his wings, just rode the air currents until out of sight.
In spite of the cold, I still have hummers coming for lunch and my dove couple have been rebuilding their nest in my palm tree.  At least someone thinks it's springtime.
I've no news on RV insurance yet, but my Thousand Trails membership is saying goodbye.  It has become more trouble than it is worth, with broken down campgrounds, rules that never get enforced and now trouble getting reservations.  

They have set up too many ways for people to stay there, not to mention now being open to the public.  Instead of fixing up electrical sites, they are building cabins in parking spots and selling all the decent sites by the year.  It has become such a stressful situation to find a parking spot, if one is even available since they are now overbooking to boot, that I just don't want to deal with it any more.  

So here's what I did.  I've gotten lots of use out of it over the last seven years, not having to pay for anything but my $460 dues per year and being able to stay 365 days.  What better way to pay it forward than to give it to a nice just-retired couple who are going full time.  They will certainly get lots of use from the membership and were very appreciative.  Being from back East where there are more parks, they will get even MORE use from it.  

To be honest, I'd rather pay the price and stay in a park where I have a definite site reservation.  I can arrive any time I want and not be stressed out about what time to leave, when I arrive or if I'm even going to end up with a place to park.  Goodbye Thousand Trails.

So it's back to quilting and praying the weather improves.  I'm gathering up my cowboy hat, boots, ski parka and gloves for Friday's festivities.  At least I will get out of the house.