Saturday, December 31, 2022


Well folks we made it.  Another year is almost in the books.  Just a few more hours until the official end of 2022.  It could have been much better without all the inflation, but I'm thrilled I'm still alive and kicking.

Thank you to Mr. Ed for passing along the CHP web cam internet site.  It's going to get a lot of use in the next week.  I can't quite tell if that's weeds, snow or just the glare of water.  Yes it is 3:20 in the morning here and I'm wide awake.  

This is pretty fascinating.  Who knew there were so many cameras on the highway?  Check out this website.

Yesterday was a normal day for me ... that means there was blood involved.  Instead of sitting around complaining and worrying, I decided to start packing.  SO MUCH STUFF!!  I'm still trying to figure out where I'm going to put that easy up.  

 I'm not sure what happened here ... I think I was putting the hitch on when I caught my thumb on a piece of wire holding a pin on the hitch.  After an hour looking for one of those little round key chain things to keep the chain attached to the hitch, I fixed that problem.  

 Next I gathered up all my strength to heft the generator to the tailgate and lock it in the toolbox.  Then it was on to quilt boxes and rally stuff.  Somewhere along the line this will all have to be taken out because I don't think 170 boxes of ice cream will fit in the back with the hitch.  Logistics I will have to deal with later.

Clothes and food will get loaded in a day or two.  Every time I try to get in too much of a hurry, I have to trot out to the rig and get something I need.  With absolutely nothing on the boob tube, Cooper and I actually took a nap, a habit I really do not want to get in to until I reach Arizona.

Of course it didn't take long for him to find his newest toy which I hid under a pillow.  This kid has a nose like a bloodhound.  The squeaker already died and only makes a kind of clicking noise.  No matter, he chews it constantly.  If he stares at it long enough, he knows Mom will throw it for him.

How could you not with a happy face like this?

I do actually have a hot date for New Years Eve.  He's sweet, doesn't talk much and has a nice thick coat to keep me warm.  Yup his name is Cooper because I have absolutely no plans for New Years Eve.  The Elks are having a big blowout, but their tables sell out within days.  You buy an entire table and get free champagne, a great rock band and the best prime rib in the country.  They celebrate at 9:00 since no one can stay up any longer than that.  

In an effort to keep my mind busy, I'll be driving out to the game refuge today to see if I can get stuck.  Actually that's NOT my plan ... the getting stuck part.  I'm taking the 4-wheel drive Jeep just in case.  Anything will be better than sitting here stewing about the what-ifs.  

I'll be raising my glass of Pepsi to you all at 9:00.  HAPPY NEW YEARS EVE!!!

Friday, December 30, 2022


 Oh wait .... not quite yet, but we are getting close.  Tomorrow night is the big splash, the big drop and the big headache.  As for me, I just stay home.  It's so much easier that way.  

Yes it's still raining ... and raining.  I know we need the water, but I wish it would just stop for the two days it takes me to get to Indio.  We got a reprieve of about three hours yesterday, but it rained all night long.  The forecast here is for rain every day for ten days.  Rain is good ... snow is bad!!  Because .........


Boy is that a big load off my shoulders!!  I don't have to run around like a mad woman trying to buy up all the paper bowls I can find.  That Loretta from La Quinta Costco ... she is a miracle worker ... a magician of majestic talents!  How she talked their supplier into delivering their product two weeks early, is beyond me, but I'm certainly happy she did!!

For her next amazing trick, I'm going to ask her to get Mother Nature to hold off for two days while I drive down south!  I don't mind the rain ... no problem there ... but THIS!!  I seriously do NOT want to drive in this.  Just the thought gets my heart racing and my blood pressure rising to epic proportions.  Yessirree ... I'm a worry wart from WAY back!!!  I don't know how I got this way ... it just happened.

My alternative route ... OMG right straight through L.A. and Pasadena on a Sunday when everyone is going home.  The struggle is real.  I went this way once in a car and got lost three times.  The freeway signs are a jumbled, very deceiving mess, that make you think you are going right when you are actually going left and back the way you came.  I think I will probably age ten years in the next ten days.

Since worrying is a full time job for me, I did absolutely nothing else yesterday.  Today I'll try to get some honey-dos finished up, like Amazon returns and fueling up the truck.  

In the meantime, I've got lots of packing and sorting to do, trying to squish all those fabric boxes in under the bed along with the quilt tops that need quilting.  Just for giggles, and to keep my mind off traveling, I think I'll even pay some bills.  THAT should be a good distraction!!!

Thursday, December 29, 2022

I'm Holding My Horses

Holding your horses is an art ... a technique that I do not excel at.  I had lots of practice back in the old days and probably did very well for a 6 year old when it came to waiting on everyone else to saddle up and GET up.  If you didn't, someone would be left on the ground with a big bump on their head because their horse took off before they had a seat.

I learned rather quickly to handle my horse and hang on because there was no sympathy if you fell off.   Two of my cousins weren't so lucky, and fell to screaming laughter as they almost hit the mail box on the way down the road.  There were no wimps allowed ... and no adults in sight.

I don't know what happened, but my holding skills have vanished, as evidenced by the ugly confrontation with my doctor's office, who for six months SWEARS they sent the orders over to the Imaging Center, while the Imaging Center SWEARS they never got a thing.

Add to that the fact that they insisted ... in fact DEMANDED I wear a mask in their waiting room or I would be removed, didn't help the situation at all.  As you know, I'm pretty stubborn.  I said if everyone else was wearing a mask, they would be fine, right?  The young man sitting there said .... well yes ... which prompted terribly ugly looks and a "shut up" from the girl.

The manager was of course in a "meeting", but at last called me back.  There is still no resolve to this matter, especially since now I will be in Arizona for another three months.  Big sigh!!

Back home, Jonathan was not holding his horses, but his perch.  Since I will be in the rig so long this time, I figured I should give him a bigger house.

I'm cage poor ... with six houses of all sizes just for him.  It was a little hard to get it in the door, and even harder to lift it up on the counter, but VOILA ... home sweet home for Jon.  Yes it's tied to the cupboard handle so it doesn't fall off going down the road.  No worries, Jon will not be riding here, but in the truck in his travel cage.

Back in the house, it dawned on me there were no perches in that house.  RATS!!  Luckily I found several pieces of wooden dowel that would work.  Too bad for the neighbors, all I could find was a metal pipe saw.  

It was much smaller and easier to use, but made the most horrible noise.  Not only did I have to cut them the right size ... which I failed on the first two tries ... but slots had to be cut in the ends, with the grain.  The screeching was heard around the block.

With that project done I ventured into the world of computer designing brochures.  This is not my forte, as you can see.  Every rally we make up a little handout with everyone's picture and name so you know who you are talking to.  

These are usually done by our illustrious Conductor who I think did it for a living.  I was always amazed at his results.  I took an old one he had sent to me via email and began to make my own.  Good grief ... it was set up as an excel file on a word document.  

After hours of frustration, I finally got the inside done, which I won't show because it has too much information.  Then it was ... lets figure out how to print a front page when the papers are folded.  I printed out SO many copies that were wrong.  In the end, it was upside down and backwards.  Not fancy, but DONE!!

I have been NOT so successfully holding my horses when it comes to that ice cream.  That and the doctor's office has kept me wide awake for the last three nights.  I don't know why I can't hit that OFF button.  Hoping not to bother Costco into hating me, I sent another quick email that if I didn't know by Jan 2, I would have to order from another source.  

I've already got my figures and my shopping order slated for scooped ice cream with toppings.  When I heard the ding on my phone, I ignored it, but curiosity got the best of me.  WHOA NELLY!!!  She said she was waiting for the ice cream order to be delivered THAT DAY.  She will confirm it today, so my phone will never leave my hand.  My horses are really going crazy now and I'm not counting my chickens yet ..... BUT .......

I've got one more big hurdle to jump over ... that darn rain that turns into snow.  Please, pretty please, pray for rain ten days from now.  I'm not sure my constitution can take pulling a fifth wheel over a mountain pass when it's snowing, even if someone did point out the trucks would knock all the snow down first.  I would rather just leave my horses in the barn.

Wednesday, December 28, 2022

An Unexciting Day

First off, thank you thank you for the quilt comments.  I appreciate them SO much.  Many times I just throw it together, then I'm not happy with the color placement.  Having more opinions is worth its weight in gold!!!  

It was a long day, this one.  Rain began in the morning and continued most all day long.  Unlike Arizona, where thunder storms go tearing across the sky dumping gallons of water, then disappear in twenty minutes, it rains here continually for several hours.  That makes for big puddles and flooded flower beds.  

It appears it will rain 7 out of the next 8 days.  That's okay with me, as long as it doesn't snow.  Snow means driving through Los Angeles to get to Indio.  I think I would rather fly Mr. Chance to my house and let him drive!!  I must be getting too old for this!

The only thing planned for yesterday, was an unexciting day of bookkeeping.  This image doesn't even BEGIN to explain it.  You would think the end of the year would be easy ... just finish off two months and be done.

But NO ..... there always has to be something that doesn't balance.  I laugh when I see these "bookkeeping" picture with teeny tiny calculators.  It takes nothing less than a Casio HEAVY DUTY.  In this case however, it's all done on the computer, which makes it somewhat easier.

Truly, banks don't help in this process.  Balancing to that ending number every month can be a royal pain.  I cheat ... I balance three months at a time, which on occasion has caused a problem or two.

My two hour job turned into four, but you know how I love a challenge, and I love this lady like the older sister I never had.  On the way out, she gave me a bag of goodies and a bunch of oranges.  YUM!!

I made it home after a long SLOW drive following someone who apparently has not driven in the rain before.  20 mph in a 45 zone, then 35 in a 55 zone for 10 MILES until my turnoff.  Patience grasshopper.

I finally made it home in time for the GREAT TRY-ON.  I drug all my shorts out of the closet and stacked them for transport to the rig.  Next I had to try on each of these 5 pair of jeans to see if any of them still fit.  That was a losing proposition.  I've eaten WAY too much in the last two months.  Time to get rid of all the cookies in the house.

In the middle of that, my knee decided to give me grief.  Hmmm this is a new one.  I moved it wrong I suppose, and now something is pinching.  Ten minutes of gyrations on the floor and it finally popped back in place.  I guess I better be more careful ... maybe too much ladder climbing recently.

And then it happened ... in my unexciting day ... the power went out.  That rarely happens here.  I texted the neighbor to see if it was just me, when I noticed my phone was down to 19% battery.  Just as I was thinking I better go start up my generator, the power came back on.  

That instantly brought words out of my mouth I shouldn't say.  It dawned on me I had completely forgotten to put the surge protector on the rig, which is always plugged in.  It's dark and it's raining, so I grabbed a flashlight and an umbrella and headed outside.  

I think I must have been a good girl this Christmas, because everything was fine.  So here I am, trying to hold the umbrella, the flashlight and the surge protector while getting it hooked up and plugged in.  Yeah, blurry picture, but it was working perfectly.

The folded table?  That's just to block the view of anyone driving around looking for something to steal.  Once I find the key for my padlock, I'll chain it up.

I was up most of the night with a headache, so I'll be having another cup of coffee this morning.  Not on the patio mind you, since yesterday's rain has become this morning's tulle fog.

I might just venture out to the Dollar Store to find some New Year's Eve headwear, some balloons and glitter to throw since the new year is coming around the corner like a screaming steam train on a downhill run.   It will make for an exciting 9:00 celebration, if I can stay awake that long.

Here's hoping today is a better day.

Tuesday, December 27, 2022

Your Eye Test For Today

 What is up with all this California rain?  It's definitely reducing my patio time as the wet stuff gives us a really good soaking.  We need it, I know ... but ... but ...... it does require lots of towels when the kid comes back in from getting in the grass.  The good news is the 50 degrees that comes with it.  YAY ... I'm not freezing, nor am I am even wearing a coat INSIDE.

In case you were wondering, my Christmas present to myself was to turn the heat up to 70 degrees ALL DAY Christmas Day.  It was WONDERFUL!!

With all the craziness of Christmas now being over (not really, there wasn't much crazy here) I took down all three of my decorations and headed to the garage.  Somehow my box disappeared.  I'm not sure why it is so easy to get distracted, but the mess of stuff stacked up hit a nerve.

I started moving things around and getting rid of junk.   Before I knew it, I had spent two hours in the cold garage.  It didn't look any better than when I went in the door, but I did finally find that box.

That's when Cooper discovered this toy for the second time.  I'm absolutely positive I threw it 389 times.  He would retrieve it and place it on the couch beside me for another throw.   We did that until he finally spotted the ball.  I should have hid it better.  

Oh look ... the toy matches the quilt!  I've been reluctantly sewing on this on and off, and now it's time for the eye test.  You know, like when you go to have your eyes tested?  So here's MY test of the day.

Which one is better ..... A

Or B


OR THIS!!!!!

There's a lot of this kind of thing going on in quilting.  We are always moving stuff around, trying to balance out the colors.  I'm having trouble with this one since I'm not thrilled with either the design or the fabric.  Maybe it's just all the rain and the fact that I never got that LAST GUTTER cleaned out.  I was waiting for the flower bed to dry out enough to set a ladder.  

The good news is the Painters said they fixed my leaky roof.  I was gone that day, so I can only hope they did.  The wastebasket is still in place under the pipe, just in case.  I think I will leave it there for good measure.

The rest of the evening was spent watching the Indianapolis Colts lose to the Chargers.  Not that football is my thing, but there was nothing else on TV worth watching.  The Hallmark channel with it's wonderful unpredictable movie endings (that's sarcasm) has decided you must pay to watch.  I passed.  Instead I soaked up murder and mayhem, after which I walked around twice and made sure all my doors were locked and the alarm turned on.

I'm watching the weather reports like a hawk since I'm leaving soon and really don't want to drag a big trailer over Tehachapi pass in the snow.  Or even worse, drive over the Grapevine and through L.A.  I don't even like to see snow on the mountain tops when I'm towing.  In the meantime, I'm starting the big pack for the rally.  No, I still haven't heard about the ice cream.  I've got all my fingers and toes crossed.

Monday, December 26, 2022

Don't Salt The Gravy

 And so another Christmas Day has passed as Santa heads off to the North Pole to begin making more toys.  He really needs to stock up on little yellow squeaky balls for Cooper.

It was still dark outside, so we waited patiently by the fireplace for the sun to come up before tearing into our stockings hung by the fireplace with care.  In case you were wondering why there is a blanket on the floor ...that's where Cooper hides his ball, only to dig it up and hide it again.  If the blanket wasn't there, he would practically dig a hole in the rug in order to cover it up.  He has also been known to pull my slippers off and hide the ball in there.  I try to avoid that since slimy wet slippers are not my thing.

At last it was time.  Jonathan actually got out of his toasty home to play with the paper roll, which he promptly dropped on the floor.  Parrots are afraid of anything and everything "new".  

He did however enjoy the banana, getting it all over his beak.  They are definitely not the neatest, as evidenced by all the sunflower seeds on the floor around his cage.  He doesn't get out very often, since if you don't keep an eagle eye on them, they will chew a hold in the sheetrock in 30 seconds.  

At long last, Cooper got his new toys.  The ball wins every time.  Once he grabs it, he smells it to be sure it's not one of the old ones, then goes crazy burying it, digging it up and rolling it under furniture so I'll have to get down on my knees to retrieve it.  It's what keeps me limber.

Suddenly, he switched to the new purple dog.  He's just waiting for me to throw it for him.

Tug of war is fun too, but I don't pull very hard.  He's thirteen and needs all his teeth.  We played this game for about two hours while I watched football.  It's sad that the Washington Redskins care nothing for history or the proud players that went before them.   They changed their name to Commanders.  Sorry, but that's a dumb name ... surely they could have come up with something better.  They lost ... probably due to previous players rolling over in their graves.

Soon it was "turkey in the oven" time.  I tested the small oven first, to see if it would even heat.  I know the thermostat is off by around 50 degrees, so I set it to 400.  When the ready bell went off, it was all of 300 according to the oven gauge I put inside.  

Not wanting the turkey to take all day to cook, I jacked it up to 500 degrees.  At long last, the temp read 350.  In went the turkey.  

Every thirty minutes I would check the temperature and adjust it accordingly.  I went from 400 to 550 degrees about every thirty minutes, trying to keep it at a steady 350.  Thank Heavens I have a meat probe that works perfectly!  At long last it's DONE!!  Yessirree this is a Butterball turkey breast (both sides) totaling 15 pounds.  It could feed an army!

As usual, I put some chicken broth in the bottom made from that Better Than stuff.  I probably should have measured that a little more carefully since that and the turkey juice are what make up the gravy.  Of course I also seasoned the turkey GENEROUSLY.  

There was a little scrambling when I discovered I forgot the brussels sprouts.  The table top oven had a pie in it.  Out came the turkey, in went the sprouts as I mashed the potatoes and made the gravy.  I couldn't wait!!!!!

First big bite ..... OH MY AUNT CATHERINE!!!  It's a good thing I forgot to salt the potatoes because that gravy has enough to float a battleship!!  Woohoo!!!  There was definitely no need to salt the gravy!  Of course that didn't keep me from eating every single bite!!

I was full, but not too bad.  Still, I waited for pie, knowing it would put me completely over the top into miseryland.  I swear, no one makes pie crust like Marie Callenders.  I actually ate this for dinner and I was STILL too full.  I watched the next football game in misery!!

In fact, I did nothing but watch football all day ... except for when I was crawling around on the floor with Cooper.

In no time Cooper was asleep.  I think it was the turkey he got for dinner.  

I hope everyone's Christmas was a fabulous one.  I am now on snow watch until my departure date.  Sunshine please .... I need some gorgeous brilliant sunshine to appear over Tehachapi Pass!!!  

Sunday, December 25, 2022

Have A Holly Jolly Christmas .....

A very Merry Christmas to all of my blog friends.  Did Santa make it to your house??

No, this is not my back yard.  Instead, I had another skunk visitation.  I have finally set my thermostat so it does NOT come on in the early morning hours.  I suppose it's time to put the game camera out again.  I did patrol the corrals and found one more hole to plug up.  Definitely NOT what I wanted for Christmas!!  

I did learn the same thing is going on in Colorado.  Friends of friends have had to put in the same underground fence as I did after having an entire family of skunks set up camp under their back porch.  Oh the fun!!!

It was a dark foggy weird looking night as Cooper and Jonathan waited for Santa to come down our fake chimney.  I laugh because as I took a good look at the roof, the chimney is a good 20 feet to the right of the actual fireplace wall, which is why the painter had such a hard time finding the leaky light fixture.  I kept telling him it was behind the fireplace chimney ... but there WASN'T one!!!

At any rate, I'm sure I spotted Rudolph's red nose as Santa flew through the fog, or maybe it was just the brakes lights of a neighbor.  I have to say, it's never EVER been so completely quiet in the morning.  No jet engines, no barking dogs, no freeway traffic ... it's almost eerie how quiet it is this Christmas morning.

I slept like a log until 1:00 am, which is probably when Santa arrived with Cooper's snacks.  I've no doubt he stepped on one of six balls laying around the house and stuck it in the stocking for good measure.  There just might possibly be an actual NEW one hidden in the kitchen cupboard.

Which is why Cooper kept barking at the cupboard most of the day.  He's got a nose like a bloodhound.

Jonathan even got something from Santa for Christmas.  Looky here!! A lovely shade of brown toilet paper roll.  Don't laugh ... it's one of his favorite things to shred into teeny tiny pieces.  Luckily I ...... I mean Santa ... remembered to save one for him.  AND he'll get a big fat piece of banana.  Merry Christmas to the two kids!!

As for me, I'll be cooking up a storm today!  Not really, but I am going to try not to burn my 15 pound monster of a turkey breast.  If it turns out okay, Cooper and I will share it, as well as provide dinner for him for the next month.  I hope he likes turkey!!

The rest of my day will be spent watching FOOTBALL!  Not that I'm a great fan, but it passes the time.  

I hope everyone has a nice WARM Christmas with family and friends.  Keep those heaters roaring!!!!!

Saturday, December 24, 2022


 I swear I will never again complain about being cold in sunny California.  I guess I'm just spoiled with good weather most of the year, AND I get to spend time in the sunny warm desert as well.  After Jim posted about he and Barb's day of -22 degrees while their floor heating system coughed and spit, I have absolutely NOTHING to complain about.  

It was a dog day ... mostly spent catering to the dog.  Yes I love Christmas and no, that's not my tree.  Well it WAS my tree, but I didn't put it up this year.  That's a whole lot more work than I was motivated to do, only to take it down two weeks later.  Cooper really doesn't have an opinion on "tree" or "no tree".  That's probably better since he does love to water the trees.  

This is him bragging to his buddy Halo.  Yes, there are squeakers in every one of those balls he chews up. I find them spit out on the floor all the time.  At least he doesn't EAT them.

Sweet Halo came by for a visit yesterday.  He just loves to water my trees too, and always runs up on the porch to look in my side windows to see his buddy.  Cooper of course goes crazy!  Halo and his Mom were invited in to play.  He and Cooper ran around the house smelling EVERYTHING!  He's such a sweet boy .......

And so is his Mom who brought a bag of goodies over for me.  Have you ever heard of bunuelos?  I have not, although I think I've seen the gadget you use to make them.  They are like super crunchy sugar coated churros.  YUM!!!  I tried to show great restraint and only ate one.  Okay, maybe two!!

Along with that came some tamales WITH sauce and white chocolate covered popcorn.  What a sweet neighbor.  They completely make up for the "other" side of the tracks.  On the way out, Halo got the zoomies.  You can't help but laugh at these kids.

Cooper's Christmas stocking surprise also arrived.  It just kills me when they send such a tiny package in such a large box.  Nothing else .... just the snacks.  I imagine Santa will put them in Coop's stocking tonight as he flies over.  We have requested another ball, so hopefully Cooper has been a good boy for Santa.

Jonathan's only request was more HEAT!!  I made it to the closest grocery store to get him a surprise banana and fresh Cole slaw.  Too bad it was dated 12/20.  I won't tell him if you don't.

I'm doing absolutely nothing today ... watch a little TV, or maybe a LOT of TV, sew a little, play with the kid since it's Christmas Eve and worry about ice cream.  

Cooper, Jonathan and I wish you all a very Merry Christmas Eve.

Remember the reason for the season!!  Christ is born!