Friday, July 10, 2020

Arizona In July

It's always an interesting trip to Arizona in the summer.  Up until now, it's been rather uneventful.  I cruised through all the construction which was plentiful, navigating the crazy new pathway through Bakersfield.

Up at the crack of dawn when it was relatively cool, the pups and I headed out early to beat the heat.  Too bad, so sad, that was a lost cause.  As I crossed the Arizona border, things began to heat up in more ways than one.
I'm always wary of running out of fuel.  I stick to the upper half of my tank, mostly because the gauge isn't accurate, nor does it subtract generator fuel.  With my dash air not really working, the generator has to be running to keep the AC on.  Always looking for a bargain, I caught a couple of fuel prices.  They ran from $2.63 to $2.85 a gallon.  Cheaper than California!!
By now I'm pretty much feeling like we're in a slow cooker.  It's getting hotter and hotter and we are getting more tender and well done by the minute.  I took this picture going down into Quartzsite just so you could see how super clean the windshield is.  That's because all the bugs died long ago when it was only 100 degrees.  I'm sure their bodies are covering the roadway.
Yup 110 in the big Q town and only 91 inside the motorhome.  Pay no attention to the time in the picture ... this was at noon.  I quickly parked and let the engine cool down before shutting it off.  That's never happened before!!  

An hour later it was 99 inside the rig.  The poor puppies were panting and I was melting.  I knew the AC unit wouldn't keep it at 68, but I expected better.  Come to find out, the rear unit was blowing hot air.  

I soaked the puppies in cool water, which helped considerably.  The good news is the sweatbox turned into a sauna and I lost two pounds!!!  Almost bedtime, there's no way we were going to sleep with that AC unit blasting away.  I tried the back one again and YAHOO, was able to get the rig all the way down to 87 degrees.  Not exactly sleeping weather.
At 5:00 in the morning, we were on the road in 93 degree heat.  But first ... I had to fuel up.  If you're coming into Arizona, stop in at the ARCO station on Riggles Road in Quartzsite.  Diesel was $2.32 a gallon.  It's always 50 cents a gallon cheaper than anything I see on the road.  

You can pull up in front if you have 30 minutes for the tank to fill, or go around back to their truck fueling station.  Be sure to tell them you are an RV so they don't charge you trucker tax.  I saved $35 on this tank.  Worth it in my book!!

Back on the road, there was a very bad accident.  Someone or something caught fire.  There were two huge wreckers, two even bigger fire trucks and lots of Highway Patrol.  Luckily it was going in the opposite direction than I.
Here's the best I could do of the new Pilot station in Gila Bend.  Road construction was terrible.  The lanes were barely wide enough to get through.  The truck in front of me hit cone after cone.  It will be a nice station when they are done.  Hopefully they take the fence across the street down so we can again park there.
Coming into Casa Grande is always beautifully green and refreshing, even if it is over 100 outside.  By this time, my poor little AC unit is barely able to keep the inside at 91 degrees.
At long last, I landed in Tucson.  Someone who shall remain nameless forgot to tell me my offramp was closed completely.  I had to take a detour to get back to my road, but that's okay since my house was a lovely 82 degrees when I arrived.  Woohoo!!!

Wait until you see it.  MY NEW RV PARKING PAD!!!  Not only that, but there were some other upgrades that almost made me cry.  It's beautiful!!  

I didn't unpack much, just Jonathan and the kids, along with their food.  It was just too hot out, something like 103?  My little brain was so cooked by then I didn't know what was up or down.

We all laid on the kitchen floor where it was even cooler until dinner was ready at the Chance house.  These guys they do spoil me!!!  Calabacitas ... I've heard Elva talk about it!!  YUMMY!!!

On the way out the door, I was graced with the presence of this cute little bunny.  Babies abound in the desert.  I bet there are 50 quail babies running around, not to mention all the baby birds.  Even baby roadrunners are in the bushes.
It's a warm 81 ... feels like 102 ... here this morning.  I've got lots of unloading to do, so I best get to it!!  Happy to say I survived 110!!

Thursday, July 9, 2020

It's 110 Degrees

That about explains it all.  Just a quickie to say I'm almost fully cooked to tender perfection.  It's WAY too hot to be in Quartzsite.  See you in Tucson!!

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

And We're OFF!!!

Guess what?  No skunk pictures!!  Not because there are no skunks, but because I'm tired of them.  Yes, I made one more round of the corral before leaving, and you know the answer to this, there WAS one more hole.  I covered it up.  I just didn't have time between packing and readying the rig to take care of the problem permanently.  Hopefully they go away soon and don't destroy my back lawn.

Funny, they don't care one whit about the FRONT lawn, or anyone ELSE'S front lawn, nor are they invading any neighbor's back yards.  Someone said to spray for grubs because that's what they are eating.  That may be a solution for another day.

I almost made a big booboo before leaving.  I actually sat in the driver's seat and hit the brake release before THANKFULLY remembering I had not unplugged.  That's a sure sign of old age!!  I keep telling myself I'm not there yet, but maybe I'm wrong.
Off we went into the wild blue yonder, or rather the hot valley heat and smog.  Traffic was surprisingly light heading south on Hwy 99, but if you're traveling this direction, watch out for construction.  One third of Madera was closed up and all of Selma and Kingsburg were DMV driving courses extraordinaire.  There's nothing like driving on the side road hash marks.

Bakersfield is it's usual screwed up mess.  They've been working on Hwy 58 ever since I bought this rig.  Now the Eastbound lanes are split in two.  The first sign said thru traffic stay right until at the last second, on the right just before the big barrels and concrete blocks, the sign said STAY LEFT.  Good grief ... I almost missed it.  Ten minutes later one lane ended before the two came back together into four.  What a mess!!

So here we are at Orange Grove RV Park again.  You pick up your envelope taped to the office window with a site number, then go park.  It's every other spot, which I LOVE!!  There's nothing like not having to be extremely quiet.

I'm taking off rather early this morning, but not near as early as those two motorcycles who have apparently taken up full residence here.  This is something I've never seen before at this park.  I guess people have figured out they can live here cheaper then anywhere else.  Sounds like Thousand Trails to me.

A quick breakfast and I'll be back on the road in the cool morning air.  I'm so looking forward to 107 degrees in Quartzsite today!

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Maybe I'm Winning The War?

Guess what today’s subject is??  If you said skunks, you would be right.  Here in Skunkland, home of the stinkiest critter on earth, we are battling for every small square inch of space.  I know I'm not really winning the war, but the good news is I haven't actually seen that bugger in two days.  That's a good sign.

In need of sustenance, my C-rations included the breakfast of champions ..... Pepsi.
I spent two hours yesterday morning hauling not one, but TWO 12 x 8 foot panels to the fence line.  I might as well make it as difficult as possible for him.  He must snicker every time he sees one more panel laid out.  I also hauled out one huge bale of hay, two old pallets and one more gate panel.  It’s kind of like door number 1, door number 2 or door number 3.  I wonder which one he will try to dig under today?  

Well here it is ... ONE MORE HOLE right at the end of the line of panels.  It seems rather small ... it's only about four inches across and not even three inches deep.  I know he's doing it just to make me mad, and it's working!!

On the other hand, maybe that blast of wasp spray in the face was enough to make his trips here short and sweet, or at least keep him away from the fenced in lawn area.
Unfortunately for me, I can still smell Miss Jessie, even though she sleeps at the far end of the couch. Hopefully one day soon it will be gone for good.  Maybe another six baths are in order.
So this is the last day I get to put up the good fight.  I’m almost packed, at least with everything I could think of while being totally distracted.  I sanitized the water tank, checked the tires and loaded up everything on my list while the kids slept.
Big hugs and kisses to the skunk.  You won this battle, but in the end game, you will lose the war.  There are two pellet guns heading this direction along with a 9 mm.  My advice is to find another grub filled horse corral before you end up in my cemetery.

Ciao Baby …… it has NOT been nice knowing you!!

Monday, July 6, 2020

Losing The Skunk War ......

Honestly, I would much rather be writing about my cooking disasters and cemetery burials than these brats that have invaded my back yard.  By the way, none of these photos are of my nemesis.  They are nocturnal, only coming out at night to eat and destroy like mini Sherman tanks.

It's very dark when I go spelunking in the morning with my flashlight and a can of wasp spray.  These guys are VERY black and pretty much not visible until you are right on top of them.  My camera would never focus, so pictures of the culprits are not available.  These all came from the internet.
So here's one side of my back yard, the other side being just as large and to the left.  That very long wooden fence in the back on the right is the line drawn in the sand.  Skunks are very destructive and have completely covered these two area with holes big enough to break an ankle.  Ask me how I know.
I inspected my work on Saturday morning, only to find two more holes.  I spent another two hours dragging heavy chain link panels over to the fence.  I knew it would happen ... there was just too much space between panels.
The next suggestion I received was shooting the thing, which I'm reticent to do.  I actually am in a small subdivision next to another small subdivision and don't think shooting would be so safe.  On to the NEXT suggestion.  Moth balls keep ALL skunks away.

I spent an hour walking around the store trying to find the things.  You would think I could have smelled them.  Nope ... my nose is full of skunk.  Finally, $15 later, I had two small bags.  I waited until dark and spread them very carefully all along the fence line.  Woohoo those stink!!

Here's another example of the holes they dig.  Luckily they haven't dug up my lawn yet, I think because they can smell the dog's territory, if you know what I mean.
Let me just say I have called the County, the State and the Feds, all of whom have refused help.  I'm told they will go after all kinds of other critters, but they have all told me NO.

SO .... next morning, I'm out with my shorts and cowboy boots in the dark (I have to admit I'm rather liking this new skunk hunting outfit) and found nothing.  Well ... maybe the moth balls worked.  I fed the dogs, but decided to double check before I let them out.  THERE HE IS!!!!  I hit him with the wasp spray.  Yes, just the thought bothers me, but I'm at my wits end.  He ran.  I RAN FASTER!!!

He finally turned and tried to spray me .... TAKE THAT little buddy ... I can spray much more and LONGER THAN YOU!!!  He turned around and took a big hit.  I covered him up!!!!  I made loud stamping noises with my feet, yelled to get the heck out of Dodge, and off he ran across the corral.  Who knew skunks could run that fast?
I was back to dragging more panels out to the fence.  Lucky for me, my neighbor saw my problems on Facebook and volunteered her two boys to help me move them.  Last night we put out four more.  I even drug out two big heavy poolside lounge chairs and turned them upside down along the fence.

The good news is there will not be moth one in my back yard.

At this point there is maybe 15 feet at each end that is not covered, with a couple of 12 inch spaces in between.  I have no doubt it will find the spaces!!

I'm happy to report I did not find any skunks lurking around in the dark THIS morning.  Once the sun rises, I'll go check the fence line again.  I've got my fingers crossed that between the wasp spray bath and the covered fence line, he won't be back.  Hope springs eternal!!
In the meantime, I really don't have time for this.  I'll be out of here tomorrow morning.  No doubt the skunk will celebrate his good luck at having the run of the place for the next few weeks.

Skunks 5  .....  Nancy 4

Sunday, July 5, 2020

Just The Word I Didn't Want To Hear .... FIRE!!

Well THAT was an interesting fourth of July.  I was hoping the FOURTH would be with me, but that was not to be.

It started about 8:30 with the bombs going off, literally shaking the ground around here.  I just find it hard to believe people want to set off fireworks when there is dry grass literally everywhere.  I patrolled my corral for over two hours, just to be sure if there WAS a fire, I caught it early.

Suddenly there was a WHAP right next to me.  What the heck?  Keep in mind, there were no houses setting off fireworks within 400 yards of my house.  I was extremely lucky that it hit the concrete and NOT my dry grass yard or my head.

Sirens were going off everywhere, one at the end of my street.  I watched as the flashing lights went not even a quarter mile before I spotted the smoke.  The siren stopped and soon the smoke disappeared.
It seems my little neighbors wanted to get a good start on the festivities too.  This would be the 16 year old high school kid with all his friends.  I heard them in the garage next door, but they were being quiet.  I gave them the benefit of the doubt.  Wrong Nancy ..... WRONG!

Apparently they wandered off two houses down to the water basin for a little smoke.  About 10:30, huge flames could be seen as high as a house and thankfully, the sirens were wailing again.  They got it out in no time.

It's funny, the boys said they saw the fire and a Jeep take off real fast before grabbing buckets and trying to put the fire out themselves.  Sound suspicious?

Someone got scared and luckily called the Fire Department.  A little too coincidental for us neighbors.  A good portion of the basin behind the melted fence was burned.
The blasting went on all around me until about 1:00 am when it finally stopped.  Gosh those guys must have a lot of money to burn on fireworks.  It seriously sounded like a war zone.  There were three HUGE shows like you would see at the Fairgrounds, only all those shows were cancelled this year.  This was all from backyard dummies who know not what they are doing.  Scary!!

To add insult to injury, it is now SKUNKS 5, NANCY 2.  Yes, we had yet another big confrontation this morning!!!  I'm afraid it's just going to continue forever, especially since I'll be leaving shortly and they will have the run of the back yard.
I'm bummed!!!  Yes I could shoot the little bugger, but I'm leery of shooting in a neighborhood full of houses.  Anything could happen ... a ricochet off a rock and BAM ... I'd be in jail.  That would be my luck, not to mention the adrenaline rush every time I see one would probably distort my aim!!!!

I'll fill you in on the latest tomorrow, once I'm sure all the fires are OUT!!

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Happy July Fourth ..... and Skunk Wars 101


It's that day to celebrate our INDEPENDENCE from oppression and taxation.  Funny that we seem to be right back in the same seat at the moment.  I hope everyone has a great time with family and friends, along with a barbecued hamburger to two!!
Before we go back to the skunks, I forgot to tell you about the EYE TEST at DMV!!  The memorization of the standard eye chart did me no good whatsoever!!  This small department with only three stations has made up their OWN test, printed it out and tacked it to the wall.

A, B and C sheets of paper all have five rows of letters.  The nice gentleman made me read one row with my glasses, ONE ROW COVERING ONE EYE, and one row covering the OTHER eye.  I've NEVER had to do that before.   With my special bionic lenses covered up with my stronger progressive glasses, I almost could NOT see the letters.  I admit, I cheated and didn't put my hand very close to my eye.  It worked, but only because I was maybe ten feet from the chart!

So beware the little shop of horrors known as the DMV.  Even the little ones have their obstacles!!


I went out in the morning with my flashlight, my good running shoes in case I required a fast getaway, and a huge can of wasp spray.  I'm not messing around any more!!

Nothing ..... Although I smelled a skunk, I did not see one, so I let the puppies out while I kept guard, my spray can at the ready.  Once the pups were back in the house, I went to see my concrete handiwork.

Boy was I MAD!!  They just dug right on around the concrete and had been in the yard AGAIN.  Not just once, but at BOTH locations.  It's WAR I tell you!!!
I looked online for some answers.  One said to have the male of your choice pee around the entire area.  Well that's not going to happen!  But it DID give me an idea.  What is DEF fluid make up of?  Urea.  Surprised?  That's why I'm so very careful not to get any on me when I put it in my diesel rig.

I poured some in a spray bottle and sprayed the entire fence line.  No clue if that's going to work, but you never know!!  It's worth a shot.

I wandered around the property trying to figure out what to cover up the holes with.  I came upon my old huge dog kennel made up of many heavy pieces of chain link fence.  My little brain started spinning.  

The only problem was, I had to drag each one clear across the entire corral to get to the fence.  It took some time, but I was determined!!
I have a big steel pipe fence inside the wooden fence that kept the horses from chewing on the wood. I had to dismantle part of it to move it away and make room for the panels.  Here's the first one laid in place.  It's about 8 feet long and 4 feet wide.  They aren't going to be able to dig around THIS!!  Take THAT you dirty skunks!!!

So YESTERDAY morning, after my foray with flashlight and wasp spray to ensure the back yard was skunk free for the pups, I went to check on my handiwork.  You can definitely see where they dug under the fence again and for another 18 inches trying to get under the wire, but had to turn back.  GOTCHA!!!!!   I was feeling pretty smug that they didn't get in!!  A quick survey of the entire fence line found no new holes.
THIS morning, again with the flashlight and spray can I patrolled the back yard ..... nothing!  No sign of skunk city.  I haven't checked the panels yet ... I'll wait until it gets light.  If two don't work, I've got another EIGHT I can haul out there to line the entire fence line if need be.  I'm going to win THIS WAR!!

Bonus ... my neighbors around here usually have lots of fireworks.  That will surely help scare the skunks away.

That's SKUNKS 2 ..... NANCY 1     

Yes, I'm keeping score!!!

Friday, July 3, 2020

No Skunks At DMV

Yes the stinky skunks are still here.  I did lots of damage control yesterday, but it will have to wait.  I'm excited to tell you about my DMV experience.

First off, I have not had to go in to the actual office to renew my driver's license in 35 years.  It's always renewed by mail.  With this new deal about getting a REAL license if you want to fly or buy ammunition, you have to PROVE you are a citizens.  Otherwise, you can walk in the door any time with no proof of anything other than you are breathing, and get a California Driver's License.

The reasoning behind that escapes me.  You get a license so you can drive and not get so many tickets for NOT having a license?

Anyway, I made my appointment three months in advance at an out of town office.  The DMV here is the worst in the nation.  They have the most obnoxious, unfriendly rude people in the country working at this location.  Probably says something about this location.
A month after my license expired, I received a text message (WOW they have gone high tech) that I now had a new appointment.  In order to GET this appointment, I had to go online, fill out several forms and print out my NUMBER.  Very important that NUMBER.

I was early, so I checked in to Burger King (my least favorite) and discovered you can get EIGHT reconstituted chicken-like-product nuggets for $1.00.  You can't beat that!  The soda was $3.50.  All pretty tasteless, but at least it kept my nerves at bay.  Why?  Because when I filled out all that paperwork online, it said I would have to take all the tests in order to get my license.
In case you were not aware, you can go online, look up California DMV driving tests and practice literally a hundred different ones.  I've been doing that for about two hours a day for two weeks.  I'm passing this sucker FOR SURE!!

Just for kicks, I took the motorcycle test because I have an M1 classification too.  I failed miserably.  

After a lovely drive, I met the nice man at the door who asked for my documentation.  Keep in mind I took everything but the kitchen sink with me, about twelve documents.  The number was all important, meaning my application was already filled out.  He asked for my passport, my social security card (which I amazingly found in the safe) and only two documents proving my address.  He asked me to wait outside while he went in.

In two minutes he called my number and I walked right up to the window he opened just for me.  WHAT?  I'm definitely not used to that!!  He copied my paperwork, took my thumbprint and did a lot of typing.  Do you want the motorcycle classification?  SURE I said ... might as well, thinking I would probably fail the test, but okay.

Picture time ... without mask.  By the way, I did have to wear a mask, but I kept my finger in the bottom to keep it away from my mouth so I could breathe.  One more thumbprint and I signed my name.

I got nervous as I knew the tests were imminent.  Back at his window, his next words put fear in my heart!  WHAT THE HECK DID YOU DO???  Wait, what?  Nothing that I know of!!  He said my license was flagged to take every test under the sun.  My shoulders slumped.  

BUT ..... he continued ..... I'm the Manager here and I can bypass that requirement with ease.  Are you kidding me?  No he says, I don't know why they did this, but I'm dropping this requirement.  Your license will be good for FIVE years.  
I of course thanked him profusely for waiving that requirement and told him this was the best experience I've had at DMV in my 70+ years.  What a NICE guy!!  I was out the door in under 20 minutes.  I drove home with a big smile on my face and love in my heart for actually meeting a really nice person!!  No he wasn't single, I checked.

So there you have it.  My license will come in the mail, assuming the post office doesn't lose it like most of my other mail.  It should be here by the time I return from Arizona.

Next up ... the REST of the skunk story.  Oh, you thought it was over?  Not a chance.  IT'S WAR!!!!!

Thursday, July 2, 2020


This is just what I DON'T need ... a back yard full of baby skunks.  The saga continues.  With a WAY too close call yesterday (for the third time) I decided my foray into the jungle of my huge horse corral just hadn't done the trick.

Being the fashionista that I am, I donned my shorts and cowboy boots, stuffed my gun in one side of my waistband and a big can of wasp spray on the other, along with a nice shapely black plastic bag, just to be sure I didn't get hit with any greasy O'de Parfume.  The hunt was on!!!
I had walked the fence line before, looking for any way they could have entered.  THIS time I literally walked the line like I was stopped by the Highway Patrol after twelve drinks, not that I really know what that looks like.  

I almost broke my ankle when I fell in that big hole under the fence.  Although I cleaned it out in this picture, it was completely covered with dry grass and invisible to my eye.  AHA you little rat!!  I GOT YOU!!!  

Having several big chunks of concrete around, I grabbed one, stuffed it in the hole completely blocking the entrance and covered it with dirt.  HA!!!  Take THAT you little brat!!
I figured I had stopped him, but just for kicks, decided I better finish walking the line.  LOOK WHAT I FOUND!!!  Another escape route!!  It took my biggest piece of concrete to block THIS one!!  I'll show you, you little devils!!

I'm very aware they will probably just dig another hole (big sigh) but at least maybe I'll have ONE morning without a skunk confrontation.  

Not having any confidence in those thoughts, I went out well prepared this morning.  I had hooked up a long hose with my handle that shoots water like a canon.  Flashlight in hand, I sprayed underneath every rose bush and bravely walked the flowerbed to the tree where he was the morning before.  I sprayed everything with a blast of water.  Nothing moved.  At least not that I could tell.  After all, it's pitch black dark and they are black, right? Very hard to see.
Even so, I put both dogs on leashes to go out.  I'm not taking ANY chances!!  This morning I will again don my best skunky outfit and walk the fashion ramp like a model, just to be sure I don't find any new holes.  I rather imagine that will be my M.O. for the next few days.

In the meantime, I'm packing.  It's way past time to be out of California.

As for the DMV appointment ... it was unusual to say the least.  I'll tell you all about it tomorrow!!

Wednesday, July 1, 2020


Just like Jack Nicholson in THE SHINING, guess who came BAAAAAACK!!  I swear, I'm going to scream.  So I went out this morning with flashlight in hand and saw nothing.  I let the dogs out, but kept a close eye on them.

Cooper went further to the flower bed than I felt comfortable with, so I went to stand by him.  That's when I saw a dark spot by my tree about eight feet away.  I swung the flashlight that direction.
This was in my face!!  OH NO OH NO OH NO!!!  COOPER!!!!!  I grabbed him just as he noticed the skunk and ran for the door.  WE MADE IT SAFE AND SOUND.  How the heck is this thing getting in the yard?????  And if he's STAYING in the yard, WHERE??  This is one of those MAN moments when I really wish I had one!!!

Puppies safely inside, I went back out again, with my big shovel, which got me nowhere.  It had disappeared into the darkness.  I could smell him, but not SEE where he was.  So today I'm calling animal control and telling them I think it's rabid.  After all, it did start to chase me the day before.  Hopefully they will be able to dispose of it.  
I mean really now .... WHY OH WHY did you pick MY yard????  There's nothing here!!!  Maybe a few slugs, but that it!!!  GO AWAY!!!!!
And now he's probably locked inside since I plugged up all the holes.  I guess I'll walk the fence line again to see if maybe he dug under the boards.  In the meantime though, I've got a DMV test to keep practicing for.

I spent most of yesterday taking practice tests which I passed with only a few mistakes here and there.  I have all my paperwork, including passport, old driver's license, social security card, birth record (there were no birth certificates when and where I was born ... in the high desert boon toolies), my mortgage papers to prove I live here, along with two other bills showing my physical address AND last but not least, my tax return.  Pretty ridiculous, right?

I'll let you know what happens with my new BEST FRIEND!!!

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

The SKUNK Saga Continues

Oh aren't they just so cute??   NO ... they are NOT!!    Hindsight is 20/20, unlike my vision that didn't see that guy behind my rose bushes.

There were signs .........

That night when I was out photographing the moon and I saw THREE skunks wandering through the neighborhood.

That morning when the dogs next door were barking at 4:30 and the chickens were screaming like crazy.  I thought to myself ..... there's a skunk in the chicken coop.  I must be telepathic ... anyway ...

That big hole in the flower bed that I thought Jessie was responsible for.

Those TWO big holes by the fence next to the RV.  It must be CATS!!

That BLACK CAT I saw duck behind the rose bush.  We have lots of cats in our neighborhood.

Even MORE holes dug in the LAWN!!!  It MUST be gophers!!  How could I be so blind??
I forewarned my hairdresser gal.  The good news is her salon is set up in her garage, so we jokingly opened both big doors.  Sweet girl that she is, she said she did not smell anything.  She even opened a bottle of perm solution and poured it on my hands which still retained the smell from washing Miss Jessie.  It worked!!  Maybe I should give Jessie a perm!!

I haven't had to deal with skunks since leaving the ranch.  I should have known!!  Unfortunately for me, Miss Jessie likes to snuggle up on the couch.  I tried to dissuade her, but she was having none of it.  I smelled skunk all morning long.  

My tuna sandwich even TASTED of skunk.  At one point I accidentally closed the door to the BATH room.  I discovered my mistake this morning.  OH MAN THAT'S STINKY!!  Apparently it's in the bathtub now.  I boiled three big pots of water, scoured the tub with Dawn and rinsed it down.  I should know if that worked by tomorrow.  Won't my guests be surprised!!!  I'll buy some of that Miracle stuff today.

Luckily, at least SO far, the sewing room remains stink free.  I was going to give this quilt away, but if the smell hangs around, I'll have to keep it.  Apparently the secret is to leave all the doors and windows open, should you ever need to know.
I figured I could at LEAST have salmon skunk-free for dinner.  After all, that lovely fish smell should cancel out everything.  Nope ..... tasted like skunk.  That smell is in my nose forever!!!  

Yes ... there were signs.

My plan today is to spend all my time on my phone.  Tomorrow is D-Day for my driver's license renewal.  I think I've already taken 25 practice tests, and 50 or so more can't hurt.  In the meantime, FELOPZD  EDFCZP.   Those are the IMPORTANT lines on the eye test!  Guess I better warm them about my perfume, odie parfume de skunk!!

Monday, June 29, 2020

Slow Recovery

In case you didn't get the memo, living in the country has it's downsides.  Unlike all my friends who have NICE critters like deer, chipmunks, hummingbirds and lovely flora, I have skunks.  BIG skunks!!  Yes I saw all those holes dug in my flowerbeds, but I REALLY thought they were from cats ... or maybe Miss Jessie, since she's a terrier who loves to dig.

So here's MY skunk!!  I discovered this yesterday when I recaptured my phone.  When I threw the biggest shovel I had at the thing as it was coming towards me, my phone went flying.  Don't ask me why I had my phone in my hand.

Recovery has been slow, to say the least.  I turned on every candley-smelly thing I had to try and remove the lovely odor from my house.  I replaced every AC filter, opened every door, blocked the exits so the dogs wouldn't get out and turned on the big AC fan.  Luckily it was a cool 65 degrees out.  I also turned on every ceiling fan I had.
Two baths later, Miss Jessie smelled .... well, not so good, but at least not as bad.  Just as I was feeling confident I had surpassed the pivot point of awful, I walked into my sewing room, full to the brim with nice soft fabric that absorbs smell.  OMG!!!!  

I forced open two windows that have never been opened in eleven years, breaking two fingernails.  Turning on the ceiling fan resulted in paper and fabric flying all around the room, but I didn't care.  I shut the door.  Maybe I'll sew tomorrow.

With cowboy boots, a huge shovel and my gun, I proceeded to stalk the critter in the back two acres.  I guess he's been having a blast for some time.  These guys dig holes looking for insects and worms.  The back yard was a mine trap FULL of big holes.  

I stabbed bunches of grass and stomped through the knee high weeds.  NOTHING.  That's probably a good thing.  I did find a very loose board on the back wall that I'm sure was his pathway to heaven.  One big hammer and twenty five nails later, he won't be coming through there.
I was NOT so lucky on the other side.  Many boards are loose and one broken enough I'm sure it could slip through.  I called the neighbor to PLEASE repair them since the boards on actually on THEIR side of the fence.  Of course she did nothing.  Late last night, I gathered every stick, old piece of firewood and rotten pallet I could find and stacked them against the wall.  

Unfortunately for Jessie, two more baths were forthcoming with hydrogen peroxide, baking soda and Dawn.  That seemed to work pretty well until she dried off.  I could SEE the aroma curling over her head.  Finally someone suggested taking essential oil (which I amazingly found in my spice drawer .. no idea WHERE that came from) along with hand cream and rubbing it all over her.  

Again, that worked until her body heat dried it up.  Come bed time, Cooper and I snuck out of the living room, leaving her asleep on the couch.  I was exhausted and ready for a good night's sleep.  Until I opened my closet door.  OMG OMG!!!  It has an air vent ..... you know what that means ..... all my clothes smell like SKUNK!!!  I give .... Uncle Uncle .... I couldn't be more beat down!!

I plugged in another smelly thingy, turned on a fan in the closet and went to bed.  Thankfully I didn't have any nightmares of being attacked by a giant skunk, but I did wake up smelling one.  Apparently washing my hands twelve times after Jessie's baths wasn't enough.
Doesn't she look sweet?  That red tinge is from the tomato puree.  If you ever need hair dye, it works quite well.

So this morning I tromped around the edge of the yard with flashlight in one hand and gun in the other.  I'm not messing around any more!!  Lucky for the skunk, he will live another day in someone ELSE'S yard.  

I have a hair appointment this morning .... won't SHE be surprised when she smells ME!!!!!

Sunday, June 28, 2020


You are NOT going to believe this!!  I'm exhausted and feel like someone beat me with a stick and it's only 5:00.

So ... I guess you can figure out what happened.  That DAMN SKUNK, who is now known by more bad words than you can possibly imagine, came back in my yard this morning.  I went outside first, clapping my hands and stamping my feet just to be sure he had not come back.

Boy was I wrong!!!  He was hiding behind a rose bush and the dogs went right for him.  I screamed at the top of my lungs when Cooper went nose to nose.  That set off a huge crashing next door in the goat pen.

Just as Jessie got there, he turned around.  It's still very dark mind you.  I screamed at the top of my lungs again and again!!!   TOO LATE!!
Luckily Cooper did NOT get hit.  Jessie of course took one in the face.  OMG OMG OMG!!!!!

I grabbed the dogs and threw them in the house.  That was a mistake.  You know how it was supposed to be so cool this morning?  I had my big AC fan on to pull in all that beautiful cool air.  It pulled in all that lovely SKUNK smell.  

I rushed back outside to make sure it was gone and it just stared at me, even took several steps TOWARDS me!!  I grabbed my heaviest shovel and threw it at him before running back in the house.  DOUBLE TRIPLE QUADRUPLE RATS!!!!!

OH NO!!!  Lots of capital words in this blog, but at least I'm keeping the language clean.  I grabbed my biggest can of tomato puree and threw Miss Jessie in the guest bathtub.  I smothered her in red, rubbing it in real good before bringing out the baby shampoo.  It actually worked pretty good, but she'll get another bath in about 30 minutes.  I didn't get it all off.

Now for the worst part of ALL!!!  My house smells like skunk.  I kid you not ... my ENTIRE HOUSE!!!  I'm devastated and completely defeated.  I quickly changed out all the filters and sprayed everything with Fabreeze.  It's going to take YEARS for this smell to go away, not to mention I have some appointments tomorrow AND I'M GOING TO SMELL LIKE SKUNK!!!!!
If anyone has any ideas, please let me know.  I've opened all the windows I can and turned on both fans in the hopes of getting rid of SOME of it.  I just have a bad feeling it's in the air ducts now and I'm doomed.  Can I get a do-over please?

In the meantime, I opened my big back yard gate in the hope he wanders off.  That means I can't let the dogs out without leashes.  This is NOT my day.  I'm going to go now because I'm going to cry!!!

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Can You See Me Now?

I pretty much did nothing yesterday.  They have closed most everything down again so King Newsom can sell all those masks he purchased in China.  It's even looking like the Magic Kingdom of Bingo will have to wait another month or so.  The peasants are so sad.

I spent most of the day wandering in and out trying to get all my sprinklers working.  Same old problem.  Far away from the sprinkler, the grass is relatively green.  Right in FRONT of the sprinkler it is brown as can be in a half circle pattern.  I've pretty much given up on the front yard.  This week of 102-103 temperatures has it resembling a desert.

Finally I got the call.  My glasses were READY!  It's funny ... I've never EVER had to have a pair remade at my usual optometrist.  I don't know if it's the prescription or the glasses.  These are definitely better, although a tad hard to get used to, unlike my old ones that I just put on and they were perfect.  These will have to do since my Driver's License appointment is next Wednesday and I need to be able to see the eye chart, even if I do have it completely memorized.
So this is the only picture of me in a mask you will ever see.  Just for kicks, I put it on to TAKE a picture.  By the second breath, my glasses were completely fogged up and that strangling feeling came upon me in a flash.  I ripped it off so fast I took a big chunk of flesh out of my lip.  Now I look like someone popped me in the mouth.  I'll try again when they make it a Federal Law.  

In the meantime, I was thinking about how many things we touch.  At the grocery store, absolutely everything I buy has been touched by at least six people.  Let's start with the basket.  Okay, lets not.   The grocery bags are touched by at least two baggers, not to mention the credit card machine that they never wipe down, my truck door handle inside and out, the steering wheel, the door knob going into my house, the door knob when I shut the door, the dead bolt and the counter as you drop everything to put it away.  Maybe we should all be wearing GLOVES!!!
My only excitement of the day (besides panicking with the mask) was the delivery of this box.  Take a look.  It's a little worse for wear.  Does that not say FRAGILE on the box?  That red tag is on all four sides.  I figured I would find a big mess when I opened it.
Would I return it if there WAS a mess?  Probably not.  Anyway, lucky for me they were in good shape.  This kind of thing is not available around here.  I actually had to order it through Amazon from NEW YORK CITY, taking two whole weeks to get here.  At least now I can wash that super dirty smoker rack and my hands to boot.
I did a little Presidential stuff for the Golden Spike group.  Our ride on the Speeders out of Ione California has been put off until May of next year.  There's an uproar about the rumor that FMCA will cancel their new FMCA Assist Program.  If you have an emergency, they will get you and your rig home.  

The Governing Board voted to KEEP the program, in case you are signed up.  Actually, it comes free with your $75 a year dues.  That's pretty cheap insurance.  For awhile there, being locked down didn't bother people much, but the longer this goes on, the more antsy everyone is getting, just looking for something to complain about.  Me too!!!

At this point, the best thing I have to look forward to is 85 degrees tomorrow.  It's on the schedule to be 103 again today.  Hope springs eternal that 85 happens.  I may just go outside in the dark morning hours in my bikini and soak in the cold.  Can you see me now?  I hope not.  That's not a sight you want to see, thus the 4 am darkness!!

Friday, June 26, 2020

I Admit, I'm A Wimp

I try to avoid confrontation as much as possible.

When I was in high school and those three black girls decided to make me the brunt of their frustration from being forced to go to school, I tried my best to ignore them.  Even when they knocked me to the ground a couple of times, I just kept my mouth shut.  Over the years, things have happened so that today I hate even the smallest of confrontations.

Take for example that package of hamburger I bought at Raleys just two days ago.  I immediately opened the package to repackage it in two servings and got the slightest whiff of "spoiled".  I checked the date.  It CAN'T be, it looks great.  I cooked it ... and oh boy did I get a nose full of THAT smell.

At our cattle camp in the high Sierras, we had an old Indian gentleman that used to help with the pack string.  He dug in our storage pit covered by a steel trap door (to keep bears out) and came up with a piece of beef that had been there a couple of months.

He insisted on cooking it in the little wood oven.  OH MY GOODNESS!!  The smell was horrific.  It smelled just like my kitchen as I cooked this hamburger.  TO THE CEMETERY!!  I SHOULD have taken it back to Raleys and asked for my money back, but I'm too wimpy.
When it came to my glasses, I had the same thought.  I'll just deal with them.  I don't want any confrontations in returning them.  I wore them all day and all the next morning.  I was looking down so hard at the very bottom in order to read that I was going crosseyed.  In seconds, my eyes began to ache.

Should I take them back?  Maybe she was right, they'll be fine ..... for everything but reading.  I finally got up the nerve and returned to the store.  This time she measured, then had the guy mark exactly where the reading part began.  It was not far off, but I just couldn't read anything.  She really didn't want to fix them.  I'm such a wimp, I even offered to PAY for another pair.

Finally she said she would remake them and move the reading section up.  Thank goodness!!  I walked out feeling like it was all my fault.  Hopefully they will be ready for pickup today.
What better to make my wimpy self feel not so guilty, but PIZZA!  I keep seeing this in Air Fryer Groups all the time, so figured I would give it a shot.  It's a tortilla, smothered in WAY too much cheese!!
With no clue as to the timing, I stuck it in at 400 degrees and tried to keep an eye on it.  I put provolone on the bottom to keep the crust from getting soggy, just like Miss Terry taught me.  Whoa .... it turned out to be WAY too much cheese on such a small crust.  

Not wanting to clean up a cheesy mess in the bottom of the oven, I took it out a tad bit early.  Not bad if I do say so myself.  I was definitely not a wimp here, I ate the WHOLE thing!!
Probably the only thing I'm not a wimp about right now is wearing masks.  That's probably the black sheep in me.  Anyway, I did finally purchase one just in case I can't get in the grocery store.  It looks like something I wore swimming about 40 years ago. 

It's extremely hard for me to breathe with it on.  Shades of many things in my past.  Anyway ... the most interesting part is the total disclaimer on the package.  THIS MASK WILL NOT PREVENT YOU FROM GETTING THE COVID 19 VIRUS.  Love that part.
Happily there was no skunk in the back yard this morning, so I'm going out with the puppies into the 75 degree COOL to have my coffee and wait for my call to pick up my new glasses.  I may even take a little joy ride up into the mountains.